The story of Rahab is one of change, hope, and redemption. Her story is that no matter who you are or what your situation, you can still come into the Lord’s presence and do what is right. 
When we come upon her narrative in scripture we know Moses dies on Mount Nebo and Joshua is in charge to take the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. At this time, the Israelites are camped on the east side of the Jordan across from the city of Jericho. Joshua  sends two spies out from the camp with orders to search out Canaan, especially Jericho.

The two men enter the city and spend the night at Rahab’s place. It is very important that we understand what the text really says about Rahab. It says Rahab was a harlot. What better place for the spies to hide out than at Rahab’s house? With all the comings and goings of a whorehouse, they could blend in easily. However, these men were on a righteous mission. 

Rahab gave the spies two things. First, she hid them from the King of Jericho. She saved their lives so they could complete their mission. Second, she told them what their report to Joshua would be.

And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” (Josh 2:9-11)

From Rahab, the spies found out about the situation. Surely, they now  knew the Lord had given them the victory. They would take the city. When they replied to Rahab’s request that she and her family might be saved, they told her that the request would be honoured “when the LORD hath given us the land” (Josh 2:14).  Not if, but when.

In the whole of Jericho, the only person we know by name is the woman Rahab. We don’t know the names of the King  or the spies. Rahab has her parents, and siblings along with their respective spouses and children.  They are the ones who are saved. We can conclude from this that Rahab had great regard for her parents. But how could a harlot in a pagan country realize things were about to change in a big way?

She lived in a great walled city that had stood for hundreds of years. They had an ancient culture as a way of life, and worshipped many gods. How could all this come to such a violent end in just a matter of days? Rahab had heard what happened when the Hebrews left Egypt and how they fought against nearby nations, Sihon and Og—And she believed!

This is the whole story: 

I know that the LORD hath given you the land… for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” (Josh 2:9, 11)

 At this point in time, her faith was greater than most of the Israelites. She had moved beyond the pagan gods of Jericho and embraced the Eternal, the real God of the Universe. 

Rahab had courage. Rahab stood up to her whole city and culture, at great peril to herself by hiding the spies. She told her king they were gone by the other way. You can just imagine what would’ve happened to Rahab if the king had found out she was lying to him. However, her faith was greater than her fear.

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” (Heb 11:31)

By this one act of faith, she joined the spiritual nation of Israel and lived. The Bible states that Rahab showed her faith through the “works” that she did. Faith must be shown through action. 

Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:23-25)

After Jericho was surrounded and fell, Joshua 6:25 says of Rahab, “she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day.”

Rahab lived the rest of her life in Israel, married and became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She married Salmon, and her son was Boaz (Booz), who in time married Ruth (Matthew 1:4-6). Doesn’t it seem fitting that a former harlot should be related to Christ?  But, keep in mind, Rahab was a harlot who changed her ways and came before the living God in repentance. In like manner, have we not all played the harlot before God? We’ve all gone whoring after false gods. We’re all sinners at some time in our lives, and if sinners deserve one thing, it’s God’s judgment. 

Let us all have the faith of Rahab. Let us all learn from her example. She changed her ways and stood before the Lord in total faith and was saved. If we change our ways and have faith, we too can stand before God and obtain salvation (Eph 2:8).


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