In Joshua Chapter 2 you will find an unexpected character that does an unexpected task and is later honored in an unexpected way.
When we think of the patriarchs of the Bible, we think of people who seemed godly in every way. We credit Abraham for having the faith to obey God even if it meant sacrificing the thing he loved most. We praise Peter for being the rock on which God would build His church. We solute Esther for having the boldness to walk into the throne room unannounced, but rarely do you hear us praising a Canaanite prostitute for her belief in God's power.
Allow me to set the stage: God has promised Israel that they will have their own land to inhabit. This land is often called the promised land. However, there is a slight set back, this land is already inhabited by an evil people group called the Canaanites. The Canaanites have a big city in this land that is known as Jericho. Joshua, the current leader of Israel, sends two spies into Jericho to scout out the land and see what they are up against. Rahab is a prostitute who lives in a house that is made into the wall of Jericho. The two spies stay in Rahab's house, and word gets to the king of Jericho that two Israelites were seen at Rahab's place. God had given the Israelites victory in so many other battles, and word was getting around that the Israelites were conquering the land. The king wanted them dead immediately. He sent word to Rahab and told her to hand over the men that were staying there. She replied back by saying the men had already left. Then, she hid the men on her roof behind stalks of flax until the kings men gone.
When the men came out from hiding she explained to them how word was getting around about God giving the Israelites victory. She then proclaimed faith in God and asked the men to spare her and her family when they take over the city.
"and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord , since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
The men agreed that as long as she didn't tell on them, they would spare her and her family. They instructed her to hang a scarlet cord out her window so they could identify which house to spare when the war started.
When Israel defeated Jericho, they spared Rahab and her family. God blessed Rahab. According to Matthew 1:5, Rahab became the mother of Boaz who was the great grandfather of king David and who was in direct family line to Jesus.
I want to encourage you to read the story of Rahab for yourself. It is a true picture of redemption. Rahab proclaimed God as the Lord of her life, and God used her to be the mother of kings. The scarlet cord that was used to spare Rahab and her family is a beautiful reminder of the scarlet blood that would be shed to spare us from our sins. Salvation is a free gift available to all people. There is absolutely no one that God cannot redeem and use. Rahab's story is a picture of this. If you ever have questions, feel free to contact us by email or Instagram direct. We would love to share Jesus with you!
'By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. ' Hebrews 11:30-31
To defeat Jericho, the Israelites walked around the walls for 7 days and on the 7th day the walls crumbled. Rahab's house would have been in the wall, so how was she spared? Today, the remains of the walls of Jericho are crumbled and in pieces, except one part of the wall that looks to be a house. Some believe this was Rahab's house. To read more on this click here!