WOMEN OF THE BIBLE SERIES
Rahab’s Faith (Joshua 2)
Joshua 2:11, 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.
Joshua sent two men to the city of Jericho to spy out the land. Of all of the places they would end up staying, they lodged in the home of a harlot named Rahab. Once the king of Jericho heard of their whereabouts, he sent his men to go and find them, and the first place they went to was Rahab's home. Instead of turning them in, she hid them and protected them from being caught. In return for her loyalty, she and her family were spared when the city walls of Jericho came down.
Rahab's faith stands out in four ways:
1. Rahab took a stand (Joshua 2:1-7).
Rahab was a sinful woman from an ungodly background. However, she did understand and accept Israel’s God as the true God of heaven and earth (Joshua 2:10-11). Her faith produced self-denial. In protecting God's messengers, she defied and denied everything her king and countrymen stood for. She was no longer a part of sin-filled Jericho. Her life and allegiance changed, and people noticed it. God can change anyone. Although Rahab had a bad reputation in the beginning, she became an example of God’s grace.
2. Rahab took God at His Word (Joshua 2:9).
Rahab's first words to the spies were "I know" (Joshua 2:9). She believed that the God of Israel was the one true God and that He alone could be trusted. Rahab experienced the grace of God. Although she was a harlot living in a heathenistic city filled with idol worshippers the grace of God as available to her. Her life teaches that God can save and use anyone who repents and receives Him. God provides atonement for past sins and failures. No matter what our past sins were, God can forgive us and change us (II Corinthians 5:17).
3. Rahab's faith caused her to show concern for others (Joshua 2:12-13).
Rahab risked her life to save the spies. She feared God, saved the spies, and became part of the Jewish nation. She cared for the spies and helped them escape. She convinced her family to come to her house and stay there seven days as the army of Israel encircled Jericho. She did not know when the fatal blow would fall, but she persevered in her concern.
4. Rahab's scarlet cord (Joshua 2:21).
The scarlet cord symbolizes the blood of the Passover lamb, which was put on the Israelites’ houses to protect them from God’s judgment on Egypt before God freed the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 12:21-23). In this sense, the scarlet cord hanging from Rahab’s home was a sign of the safety and rescue she could expect for her household.
5. Rahab believed God (Hebrews 11:31).
Rahab was a prostitute, a Canaanite, and an idolator, who became a believer. Rahab's faith was great and her theology was straight. She knew very little about God and His covenant with His people, but she acted strongly on what little she did know. As a result, she turned her heart away from Canaan’s false gods, put her faith in Israel’s God (Hebrews 11:31) and joined with them in their effort to secure the land God had promised to them. Rahab became an ancestor in the family line of the Messiah (Matthew 1:5-6).
It is interesting to note that up until this time, she, nor the inhabitants of Jericho, had actually seen any of the Israelites. But, they had heard of them. They heard of their conquests in the desert and of how the Lord had parted the Red Sea. At this point in time, the Red Sea parting had occurred some forty years earlier. The fear of the Lord caused this response in Rahab; she knew which side she needed to be on. I love the fact that God had taken care of these two men, even before they got to Jericho. The Israelites were about to take over the promise land, not because of their strength, but because of the Lord. Rahab was the great-great grandmother of King David. She was also in the ancestral line of Jesus Christ. The scarlet line that saved Rahab symbolizes the scarlet blood of Jesus Christ that ensures salvation to everyone who believes and receives it.
The same is true for us today. As Christians, we are blessed to live in God's promises. (The Bible is filled with His promises for us.) Sometimes, the new land is hard to see and even harder to walk through, but if we just step out in faith, we will see how God has taken care of every step we need to take. As the Lord leads you in His purposes for your life, you will see how He has prepared even those around you. And remember God clearly encouraged Joshua to, "…Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua 1:9). May this encourage you today and go forth in all that the Lord is leading you to do.
Points to Ponder:
God has His Rahab’s to protect us.
Sometimes the most unlikely person will come to our rescue.
Questions to Consider:
Can you give an example of this from your life?
Do you believe He will forgive your sins no matter what you have done?
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for Your mercy and for saving me from my sin. Help me to gain wisdom through godly fear and reverence of Your ways. Teach me to walk in Your ways and to honor You in all that I do.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.