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Hebrews 11:31-By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Rahab wasn’t Jewish.  Rahab was an outsider, a Gentile. She didn’t have history with God’s people. Worse, she was entrenched in the pagan worship of the Canaanites. And then there is the matter of her occupation. She was actually identified by her occupation in our Hebrews 11:31 verse. By faith the prostitute Rahab…

Why would the writer of Hebrews want to bring her prostitution front and center?  No one else was listed that way. No one else was defined by their sin when their faith was being celebrated. Why out her for generations upon generations upon generations of people to read about her wicked ways? Why put a spotlight on such bad choices? I think the writer of Hebrews wants us to know that she was a pagan prostitute because the hope is that we will realize that no one who activates faith in the One, True, Living God, will be turned away from God’s saving grace! It doesn’t matter what kind of culture you were born into or what kind of brokenness you have chosen or perpetuated, God’s grace is sufficient for you, and He will take you as you are and redeem your life and story if you will trust Him.

Joshua 2 details Rahab’s story. Rahab lived in Jericho. Before the famous Jericho battle, Joshua sent a couple of spies into the city to get a feel for the goings on.  Verse 15 of chapter of chapter 2 tells us that Rahab’s house was built into the wall at the gate.  That was convenient for her in her profession. People who used her “services” could sneak in and out pretty easily.

Those spies arrived at Rahab’s house and stayed there.  However, someone saw the spies go into Rahab’s house. They reported it to the King of Jericho, and he sent word to her that she was to bring the men out so he could deal with them. The king told Rahab that he knew they had come to search out the country. So, not only were they seen entering Jericho, but the mission of the spies was known to their enemy.

But Rehab hid the two spies and said that when the men came to her, she didn’t know where they were from. She said that as it was getting dark and was close to time for the city gate to be shut, they left, and she didn’t know which way they had gone. She told the king’s men to hurry and try to find them. The king’s men did as she suggested. All the while, the spies had been hidden up on the roof of her home. She had just sent those soldiers on a wild goose chase.

So, our heroine in Hebrews 11 was a liar. Perhaps that was a skill she had also honed for her occupation. I don’t know, but she was convincing.  Housing the spies and lying about it put her life at risk. Why would she risk it? We’ll settle that in a minute.

Since it was night and they were safe for the moment, the spies slept up on the roof and she had a conversation with them before going to bed herself. She said this in verse 9,  “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

Everyone heard about the God of the Hebrews. Everyone knew of His power. Everyone was afraid and believed Jericho would fall, but in the middle of everyone having the same intel, the same information, only Rahab made a decision to act in faith on that information. When the king and his men wanted to kill the spies, Rahab made the decision to identify with them instead of with her people. Rahab made a decision that defied her conditioning and culture. Rahab moved away from what she was steeped in and put herself in the middle of what God was doing! 

Rahab was smart.  Don’t assume because someone has chosen a life of sin that they are incapable of making a good, smart or holy decision. Rahab was perceptive. She was intelligent. She was well-informed. She knew the scoop. The men of the town talked to her. She was decisive. She knew how to act quickly. She was fast on her feet. She made up a clever and believable story under great pressure. She knew how to throw the king’s men off the spies’ trail. She even gave the spies excellent advice, telling them to hide in the hills for a few days before attempting to cross the Jordan River, and they listened to her! The people of God took advice from the prostitute! Don’t you ever discount where God might provide help. You don’t know who He will use to cover you or who He will use to move you toward victory.

And she shrewdly cut a deal with the spies. 12 “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.” Joshua 2:12-13

The spies promised to save her life when they overtook the city. They told her that when they came back to overtake Jericho, they would expect to see a scarlet cord tied in the window. That scarlet cord would be the sign to the invading Israelites that everyone in that house would be kept safe.

That scarlet thread in the window is a type and shadow of the scarlet red blood of Christ. There were many ways Rahab could have indicated the location of her home, but the scarlet thread was chosen on purpose. It was chosen to point us to Christ. The world would tell us that there are many ways to God and salvation, but Scripture tells us it is only through the scarlet red blood of Christ that we are saved. Salvation is found in no one else, Acts 4:12. When Jericho fell to Israel, Rahab and her family were spared.  Rahab, the prostitute became a proselyte. She became grafted into the Jewish family, into the Covenant with God’s people. What a stunning example of God’s grace!  That’s what grace does…it brings us in. It pulls us toward God. Grace is like a life raft that pulls us away from danger into the safety of God’s love.

But that’s not even the end of her story. She just wanted to be spared along with her family. She didn’t know that because of her faith, she was going to be elevated to a position of prominence within the Jewish community. As she is grafted into the Jewish community, she meets a man. I love, love! I love a good love story! She met a fella by the name of Salmon. We read in Matthew’s genealogy of the birth of Christ that Salmon and Rahab had a baby boy named Boaz. Boaz married an outsider as well. Her name was Ruth. Ruth and Boaz had a baby named Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse had a baby named David, and David’s lineage is the lineage through which Jesus, the Messiah descended. Rahab, the prostitute became the great grandmother of King David and gets mentioned not only in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith, but she is also listed in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That is what God’s grace does. It elevates you! God’s grace will take you places you could never get on your own. Nothing is random in the life of a believer. No meeting is by chance. No appointment is the result of luck. When you place our faith in Who God is and in what He has done for you, your life becomes guided by the Sovereign hand of God!

To be spared and to be elevated, to become grafted into God’s family, to have your story redeemed and rewritten, you only need to activate your faith in Who God is, in what He has done, and in what He will do!

Judges 13:1-5-Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of
Hebrews 11:30-“By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.” The Battle
During a time when the Hebrew people were being oppressed and impoverished by the Midianites, the angel of the LORD