This past Story session was focused on Joshua 2: 1-24. This is an interesting story in the Bible because God uses a painted woman to achieve His will and in so doing, venerates this woman and her family for all time. If you do not believe my words on it, take the Apostle James from chapter 2:25 where he wrote, “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute Justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way.” So what gives and how did we get to the point God is using prostitutes to accomplish His will? Aren’t there more righteous people He could have used?
In this story, the spies of Joshua enter Jericho and the king hears of their visit. The King sends a dispatch to Rahab seeking the men’s return and she says they already boogied, meanwhile she is hiding them in her home. You see Rahab knew the land had already been given over to Israel by God and she did not want to be an impediment. She and the other citizens had heard how Israel had already destroyed some other cities and she wants to live.
The spies sneak out later, return to Joshua, and give him the report of Jericho and the actions of Rahab and how they can save her and her families life when they attack. Most people are familiar with the fall of Jericho, but this prelude to its capture might miss many peoples story time because of the prostitute Rahab. What does God want us to learn from this story though?
- God can and will use anyone to accomplish His goals and plans. Why a prostitute? So God can receive even more glory in the redemption of a prostitute and her family. If God will forgive and redeem a prostitute, what can you have done that would match up with her level of sinning?
- We need to trust in God no matter the circumstances. We see in Rahab how God already prepared the soil for victory ahead of time. We often do not see God at work before we arrive on the scene. Then as things unfold we are amazed at how they turn out. Only we missed the preparation God achieved before we got there to pave the way for success. We have to trust God, His will be done.
- As James referenced Rahab, we still discuss and talk about her. Has the promise been redeemed for Rahab? Her family was dealt with kindly and faithfully during these events and they have become a timeless story of redemption millennia later. I think Rahab and her family received much from their faith. God will do the same for you.
There is one additional point I want to bring forward. Rahab lied to the kings men about the spies. Does Rahab’s lie, because it worked out in the end and she has become a hero, get ignored as a little white lie necessary for the greater good? That is the risk isn’t it? Many people looking to justify the small lies to get by, or make someone else feel good, or to mask something might look at Rahab and consider themselves OK to lie too.
Rahab’s lies were not OK. Her life was a wreck as we can see by the profession she engaged in. There was very little about her life that would be considered remarkable. This just goes to show how great God is. The only thing Rahab had going for her was she believed in God and that He had delivered the land already. Rahab recognized where God was at work and God in all his righteousness and faithfulness recognized her belief and actions and rewarded her and her family. There is no excusing her lies or her sins, but God chose to ignore them. Just like he does with yours.
We have that in common with Rahab now don’t we? She is low hanging fruit and God redeemed her. Maybe we are not too high in those branches either and God in His greatness will redeem us too. This is a story of redemption we all benefit from. I thank God everyday that He loved us enough to send His only Son. Otherwise we would all be condemned. Thank you God!