Today I have been studying the first couple chapters in Joshua. And quite honestly, they blew my mind. The story of Rahab made me think long and hard about my thought process. Let’s first look at some history…
Rahab lived in Jericho, which was part of the land that God had promised to the Israelites. She was, however, a Canaanite, and her people did not believe in the one true God, but were polytheistic.
And then we have Joshua. He was a man that “took the place” of Moses in leading the Israelites across the Jordan River into the promised land. God was with him and promised that He would never leave or forsake Joshua.
Joshua 2 is where Rahab comes into the picture. Joshua sends 2 spies into Jericho to look over the land. The 2 spies enter the house of Rahab, who was a harlot (prostitute) and stay there. Rahab hides the men from the king of Jericho and his officials, keeping the men safe in her home. She states in verse 9 that she knows the Lord has given the land to the Israelites, and she doesn’t take that lightly. She asks the men to promise that her and her family will be kept safe in her home because of her kindness, even though the rest of the city was to be taken over. The men make an oath to her, and tell her to hang a scarlet cord in the window of her home after the 2 spies leave, as a sign that her and her family are all inside the house, safe. She does so and the men safely leave Jericho. In the end, Rahab’s family is saved because she kept her promise, and the rest of Jericho is destroyed.
Alright… so we now know the condensed version of the story. Rahab was used by God to help God’s people. But let’s take it a few steps further.
Rahab had faith. Hebrews 11: 31 says “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. Ephesians 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” Rahab had faith that there was only one true God instead of many Gods because she knew of what had happened in Egypt. Could it be so? That a prostitute helped bring forth the plan of God by helping the Israelites? Could a prostitute really have FAVOR in the eyes of God? Yes. She. Did.
Now… Matthew 1 states the genealogy of Jesus. Let’s look at verse 5: “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. Rahab is not listed as a prostitute here. Now let’s look at Ruth 4:21-22: “Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.” This cross reference again shows us that Salmon was the father of Boaz and in Matthew, it was stated that Salmon was the father of Boaz and Rahab was the mother. The one place that the title “prostitute” doesn’t follow Rahab’s name is in the genealogy of Jesus. Her son Boaz is known as the kinsman redeemer and the story of Ruth and Boaz is a beautiful.
So… Rahab, a prostitute is in the direct lineage of Jesus, son of God. A woman who is entitled “filthy” and “worthless” was in fact “redeemed” and “full of worth.” She had faith in Jesus, helped God’s chosen people, and bore an amazing son. A prostitute was used in God’s plan… so who are we to judge who God will use? Rahab went from being a prostitute to being honored in the Faith Hall of Fame because of her obedience. And that, is the legacy of one beautiful life.