At first glance, Rahab didn’t really do much. She told a little lie and hid a couple of spies on her roof. Big deal. But her actions set in motion the Israelis victory over Jericho, saved her family and, earned her place in the lineage of Jesus. There is so much we can learn from this simple prostitute.
- God can use anyone. Despite what many television shows would lead you to believe, prostitution is not glamorous. In most places we see prostitutes, while being “used”, are basically rejected by society. Here in the story Rahab is figuratively and literally living on the edge of the city. But it didn’t matter. God positioned her at a pivotal point in the plight of Israel. Her actions are not only told in the book of Joshua, she’s mentioned three times in the New Testament (Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25-26).
- Having faith means taking action. Rahab had amazing faith. Many Israelis had trouble believing in God. Which sad considering they had witnessed the parting of the Red Sea, the manna/quail, the water from the rock, and everything else God had done since bringing them out of Egypt. Rahab on the other hand had only heard of these things and believed. Not only did she have enough faith in their God to take a risk and hide the spies, but she was also bold enough to ask for something: the protection of her family. It’s is also interesting to note that she helped the spies before asking them for anything. She believed in her heart that she was doing the right thing and would be protected.
- Actions have far reaching impacts. Rahab’s action saved not only herself, but her family as well. In a city where EVERYTHING (even the donkey and sheep) were destroyed, her family and hers alone survived. And that’s not the end of the story. While some biblical scholar’s debate this fact, there is a belief among others that Rahab went on to marry Salmon. “Salmon was the father of Boaz. Rahab was Boaz’s mother. Boaz was the father of Obed. Ruth was Obed’s mother. Obed was the father of Jesse. And Jesse was the father of King David” (Matthew 1:5 – 6). She was the great great grandmother of King David!!
- There is more to people than meets the eye; don’t judge. In the beginning of the story we see that Rahab is a prostitute. Most of us “blessed and highly favored” Christians would not be caught in the company of such a woman. We would probably walk on the other side of the street if we saw her coming. Gossip about her with the other moms at the PTA. As the story unveils we see her true character coming to light. Her boldness and willingness to step out on faith. Then she says something that is incredible: “…spare the lives of my father and mother. Spare my brothers and sisters. Also spare everyone in their families” (Joshua 2:13). Hold on!! She has a family? Her father and brothers are still living, yet she earns her wages as a prostitute? Something is not right. There is definitely more to this woman than meets the eye. Something has happened that has separated her from her family. Yet despite of that, she still makes arrangements for them to be spared with her. She could have held on to bitterness about her plight in life, instead she choose to save a lot of lives that day. “So the young men who had checked out the land went into Rahab’s house. They brought her out along with her parents and brothers. They brought out everyone else who was there with her (Joshua 6:23). Don’t judge people. You don’t know what they’ve been through and you don’t know what they’ll do.