Rahab was a woman of perspective. She was able to see past the natural and see God at work in a town and place where people did not know God or believe in God. A bit of a backstory here, Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho. Joshua, who was leading the Israelites into the promised land, sent 2 spies into the land to spy it out. Isn’t that funny, Moses sent 12, 10 came back with a bad report and 2 came back with a faith report. So Joshua decided to cut the 10 and go straight for the 2, LOL.
The king of Jericho heard that there were 2 Israelite spies in town so he sent men to Rahab’s house looking for them but Rahab hid the men to protect them and sent the king’s men on a wild goose chase. We’ll pick up the story in Joshua 2.
“Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Seawhen you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed.No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.
Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.””Joshua 2:8-13.
What struck me about Rahab is that she was a prostitute. She had encountered all sorts of men and she may have had men who abused her or treated her badly along the way. But when God was ready to save her, two men showed up at her house. I guess what I want to say is this; don’t be caught bitter when God sends someone to you. They are not your past. Let go of the past, forgive what needs to be forgiven so you don’t miss out on your moment when God shows up through a person you do not expect.
Rahab did not let her previous encounters blind her when she was face to face with an opportunity to encounter God. She was not closed off to the possibility of better, the possibility of a God so good He would do whatever it took to protect His people. A God who could be merciful and kind, even to her.
That night when she hid the men in her house, she picked a side. She chose God in that moment and her speech to the spies tells us why. She believed that God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below. Also, note that she didn’t say, “Now swear to me by your Lord.” She said, “Now swear to me by the Lord”. She acknowledged God in that moment as not only the Israelites Lord, but Lord over all, herself included.
No-one had taught her that. But in the midst of all that was happening and the fear and panic of the people in her city, she chose faith over fear and believed God could save her and her family. Because of her perspective, because of how she saw God, her family was saved and Rahab ended up in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Yep, Rahab the prostitute is Jesus’ great great great great (I don’t know how many greats) grandmother.
God is not so fussed about your past. However, He cares how you see Him. How do you see God? God is a holy God and Rahab was a prostitute but she knew she could ask for help. Are you so beat down by your past that you are struggling to ask God for the help you need? Don’t be. If God could not only rescue Rahab and her family but also include her in Jesus’ genealogy, then there is certainly a place for you too at the table.
What you think about God matters. Like we said last week, when we think wrong we see wrong. When we start to think right about God, we can start to see God rightly. Shake off the dust of your past experiences and allow God to reveal to you who He truly is.
Love and blessings