The Israelites spent forty years wandering the desert in search of a
place to call home. Have you ever wandered, longing for a place that
you can truly call home? After many years, the people camped outside
of the ancient city of Jericho and wondered what to do next.
You know the story, they get up and they march around the walls of
Jericho each day. On the last day, they circle it six times and
boom, the walls came tumbling down! In the ensuing chaos, the nation
of nomads made quite the name for themselves.
Prior to that, Joshua needed a little recon information so he sent
two ahead scouting. After slipping into the city, they came to the
home of a woman named Rahab. She was not your upstanding citizen of
the community, however. No, Rahab worked the oldest profession.
What could these two Godly men want with a common prostitute? Throw
your James Bond thoughts out the window right now. Flashy is not the
way to go when you are spying, regardless of what modern movies might
lead you to believe. You need to keep to the shadows, make sure
those that come in contact with you will keep said contact secret.
You need the type of woman that knows how to keep a secret. Hello,
Jericho Madame, you look like a likely candidate.
Do not get lost in her lifestyle up to now. If you do, you will
miss out on one of the most uplifting tales in the Old Testament.
You find her first mentioned in the book of Joshua, but look… her
example shines brightly through to the times of the early Christian
Church. We come across a mention of Rahab several times in the New
Why does a common harlot get such attention? How can she possibly
deign to list herself in the ancestry of the Savior?
Faith and Redemption.
That is right, this story tells what could be one of the most
inspiring stories for us today. Rahab lived a life of sin. More
than that, she profitted from it. Daily (or nightly as more likely
was the case) she broke the commandments of God left and right. She
sold herself for the pleasures of men, she lied to wives seeking
their husbands, she dabbled in the things most carnal and dark.
So what happened to make this story good? Was it merely her
protecting of the two spies sent by Joshua? No.
Look at the situation at hand. Two strangers come knocking on your
door. They don’t want what most men knock on your door for, they
just want shelter. On their footsteps comes the next knock making
you feel like Grand Central Station just commandeered your front
door. The city guards, the cops, people who could bust you for your
lifestyle stand on the other side. Maybe they offer you money,
perhaps the promise that they won’t haul you in for prostitution,
possibly they say they will just let you live. Whatever they say,
you have every reason to give up the first two men and no reason to
lie on their behalf.
Rahab protected the two spies.
When everything pointed to the common sense of turning the spies
over, why did she keep them hidden?
Faith and redemption.
This act of sheltering the fugitives began her walk along the path
leading to redemption. She stepped onto that path because of faith.
Rahab saw an opportunity to turn her life around. She found a way
to find the true joy of living in line with the teachings of the one
true God. She leapt at the opportunity that crossed her threshold.
Do not believe for an instant that she did not know who those men
were. Rahab told them how infamous they were. Furthermore, she let
them know that the people of Jericho feared the nomadic people.
Their reputation proceeded them.
She knew who they were which meant she knew what could happen if the
guard found her in cahoots with the spies.
How deep is your faith? Is it strong enough that you can step onto
that road of redemption, even knowing the dangers that may come? Can
you trust in your God as much as Rahab trusted the God of the two
It is said that faith without works is dead. How can we act upon
our faith? Are we brave enough to act just as Rahab acted?
The story of Rahab causes much reflection on our actions and deeds.
I hope that it brings us hope. If someone like Rahab can live a long
life as she did, and find redemption, can we?
Sometimes I feel like Rahab. Every day I make mistakes and every
day I let myself down as well as God. Like Rahab, it is not too late
for me. I can choose to change myself, turning the negatives into
positives. If God can accept her, He can accept me. If His people
could accept her, they cannot people accept me as well?
The lessons continue. What did she do after helping the two spies
in her home? She begged for them to save her family. The compassion
and selflessness from a surprising place. It teaches us that all
people have good qualities, that we can learn from all, and that we
should want to share our redemption with those we care about most.
She found two men willing to save her from destruction. She could
easily have taken that and run, forgetting all else. No! She wanted
to save her family. Her loved ones became her priority. She
gathered them all in, a safe port during the storm.
When we find a tasty new dessert, do we not call up to rave about it
to our friends and family? What about those great sales at the shoe
store? Today we burn up the phone lines to share wonderful news with
those closest to us all, but do we share the joy and peace of
The next time you read the story of Rahab, ponder what went through
her heart. Put yourself in her place. Decide if you are living up
to the example she set those many centuries ago. If you find your
faith lacking, build it up. If you need to call out for redemption,
know it is not too late.
Upon leaving her home, the spies told Rahab to do one thing. Hang a
red cord from her window. This would ensure their ability to find
her home again, allowing for the promised safety. What must her
neighbours think to see Rahab hanging up a red cord? Definitely does
not seem normal if it is to set her apart.
Red or scarlet is a colour used many times over in the Scriptures.
The first big use was in Egypt. The Hebrew people painted their door
frames with blood which allowed them safety from the plagues of God.
Egyptians woke to find their cherished first born children dead,
while the Hebrew families remained unscathed. Now we see red once
more saving a family from destruction. We use the colour now to
symbolize the redeeming blood of Christ’s sacrifice in Gethsemane and
on the cross.
How significant that we see Rahab hanging a scarlet cord from her
window to save her live and the lives of her family while at the same
time symbolizing the redemption she found from a life of sin.
Her story ends happily. She and her family escape Jericho and join
the Israelite nation. Rahab marries a good man, raises a family,
turns away from her old life and enters into a new one. Let your own
life be one with a happy ending.
We all deserve a happy ending.
Originally posted on ladyozma.vox.com