Rahab was a harlot. Her life was filled with food, drink, sex, and money. In the traditional sense of the profession she was an outcast. We all cast judgement on women like Rahab. We look down at them, whether we want to admit that or not. Believing there is nothing good that can come from a life of such debauchery. However, that is not the case in God’s social hierarchy. He rules His kingdom differently.
We meet Rahab in the book of Joshua in the Bible. There are 2 spies sent into Jericho to case the land of milk and honey. They are sent by Joshua, the new leader of God’s people into enemy territory, which will soon be their Promised Land and home. Rahab lives in the city wall and is a Canaanite. The 2 men are looking for a place to hide out and possibly find out the scoop about the area. Who better to give them the low down than Rahab, plus having the home in the city wall would allow for the men to make a quick get-a-way if needed.
Unfortunately, the King of Jericho gets word that 2 spies have entered his land and he orders a man hunt until they are found. Rahab is quick to plot and scheme and decides to hide the men on her roof. When the king’s men come looking for the spies at Rahab’s home she tells the king’s helpers “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” Joshua 2:4-5 She then proceeds to send the spies on a route to the mountains where they can remain safe. She is promised by the spies that her family will remain safe when the Israelites come and overtake the city. All of that is great except the fact that she lied. True to someone of her character is what most of us would think.
Fast-forward to Hebrews 11:31 and Rahab is listed with a few people in the Bible that were so faithful they were chosen to be named and celebrated. “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Wait what?! So the prostituting, lying, low life Rahab is listed in the Hall of Faith? Yep. This is where Jesus gets real. Where His love and grace supersede anything we can even imagine. This is where our flesh wants to say, I’m not as bad as her, I would never live a life like that, and I’m not being recognized for how faithful I am. That is my point exactly! I love how God does the exact opposite of what we think is best.
What blows my mind the most in this, is that God does not commend her lying but he doesn’t condemn her lifestyle either. God never condemns. He saw the greater good in Rahab. He called her to a higher purpose and continued the liberation of a nation through her life. I doubt she understood the role she was playing when she hid the spies, lied to the king’s men, and sent the spies on a route to safety. I doubt she knew that she would end up being in the lineage of Jesus Christ the savior of this world. God revealed to me through all of this that I am just like Rahab. I sin, fall short, and live a life that needs Jesus. BUT, His life and death cover that sin and so when God sees me He sees my faith. He placed me in Jesus’ lineage as well. I am a daughter of God which means that I am in Jesus’ bloodline and so are you. This rocked my world and I hope it speaks to you as well. There is NOTHING you can do that will ever make God love you less (or more). He chose a prostitute, named her faithful, and placed her in the King’s court. He will do the same for you. God doesn’t define you by your sin He defines you by His son.