Rahab went from a harlot- to the Scripture Hall of Faith. Even though She sold her body for money, yet a holy God never sold her out, gave up on her or found her non-approachable. The story of Rahab teaches us that it is never too late and the pit is never to deep for God to restore us, redeem us, and turn our dire situations 180 degrees around.
We're told that Rahab had set up her place of business in an easily accessible location. "Her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall."(Joshua 2:15) In other words she had a good location for the travelers passing through or so local citizens could easily find Rahab's place of business in Jericho. Perhaps that's the reason the two spies who had been sent by Joshua to examine the land chose Rahab's house and lodged there.
Somebody saw the spies going into Rahab's house and reported it to the King of Jericho. The King then sent emissaries to find them and deliver them to him. Rahab now faced a great decision-would she turn the spies over to her king, to refuse would probably be a penalty of death, or would she hide them, risking her own life?
Rahab chose not to reveal the presence of the men. Even though her life was at stake, she hid the men on her roof. She chose to risk her life in order to protect their lives. She did this because she had heard about the God that these men served, and she feared Him.
Rahab had known all about the Israelites. In fact, she knew about their 40-year history. Ever since God opened up the Red Sea 40 years ago her people had been afraid of their God and His reputation. She protected the spies because she knew their God was the God of heaven and earth. Joshua 2:1-24
Rahab's new faith now controlled her decision and her loyalty. She chose to identify with the people who belonged to God because she feared God more than man. Regardless of her past life Rahab took action. She acted in faith and that is why she is listed in the Scripture Hall of Faith along with Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and others who turned their lives over to God.
Isn't it interesting that a harlot gives one of the greatest lessons in the Bible on faith to us? Gods love language is faith. When the Roman soldier, the Demoniacs, Saul as he became Paul, Mary Magdalene and Matthew the IRS agent all acted on a present living faith their past no longer determine their future. Neither does it have to with you!
Regardless of your past of alcohol, drugs, pornography, bankruptcy, gluttony, sexual addictions, Lying, stealing, cheating there is a place reserved for you in Hebrews 11. When you start to love God with His love language of faith, God can and will do for you what he did for Rahab. Why? Because God rewards faith regardless of whom you are and what you have done. If God could use Moses a murderer, Abraham a liar, David an adulterer, God wants you to know through these examples that your past does not have to determine your future.
Regardless of how wretched, twisted, or broken your past might be, it is not the sum total of your future. I don't know your past or how bad you are presently. All I know is that the woman described in Joshua 2 is the same woman mentioned in Hebrews 11. In the Old Testament, we were introduced to her as a harlot, but in the New Testament, she is an example of righteousness, godliness, power, and victory because God can turn any mess into a miracle.
Everything got turned around for Rahab as she chose a new life. She didn't just end up with her name mentioned in Hebrews 11 as a great example of faith; she married and gave birth to a child who would end up in the lineage of our Savior. She ends up being the great-great-grandmother to Israel's most highly esteemed King-King David-and forever linked to the lineage of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:5-16
When Rahab left Jericho, she left her profession behind. Instead of hanging out on the corner, she started a new life with God and His people. As a result, God gave Rahab a new family. She married Salmon and we are told that he was a prominent man in Bethlehem. So She didn't just end up with any old guy, God matched her up with one of the rulers of the city that would one day be the birthplace of the Messiah. 1Chronicles 2:51
How is that for turning things around??? How is that for taking a seemingly hopeless person in a hopeless land in a hopeless situation and honoring her faith with a hope that extends to everyone? Don't tell me that God can't turn your situation around. If He can do it for Rahab, He can do it for anyone!!!
When we acknowledge and confess our sin, displaying our faith in the blood of the lamb, we are spared from the wrath and judgment that we so rightly deserve. God can pardon any sin. No sin is so great that Christ's blood cannot cover it.
Because of Jesus Christ and His blood, God can do for you what He did for Rahab-if you will acknowledge your need for a Savior and follow Him as Lord. He will turn around your seemingly hopeless situation or hopeless life. As He did with Rahab, He can do with you. God can start your life all over again. Your past does not have to determine your future.
Faith & Grace makes it so,
Jim & Sally