Read Joshua 2:1-24; 6:15-25; Hebrews 11:31
The Faith of a Harlot
There are certain occupations that carry with them a social stigma. Perhaps no career is seen in a poorer light than that of a prostitute. And yet the Scriptures show how powerful the one, true God of heaven is, saving even those that many times we would shun and from whom we would divert our eyes.
It is not Rahab’s occupation that makes her faithful, nor her lies to the men sent by the king of Jericho, but her belief that God really is God, and that He really is blessing Israel. She had no reason to believe such things except by word-of-mouth. Yet, forty years after the Red Sea crossing, the truth of God’s power persisted, so potent that even a harlot believed the fantastic stories.
When she spoke to the spies, she said, “I know that the Lord has given you the land” (Joshua 2:9). There was no doubt in this woman’s mind that Jericho was doomed. Why? Because of what God had already done for them. “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” (Joshua 2:10). Her entire family was convinced that Israel would overtake Jericho, as Rahab said, “And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted” (Joshua 2:11). The power of the Lord was real and the destruction of Jericho was inevitable.
However, Rahab did not resign herself to her own destruction. She begged for mercy from the spies, helping them and hiding them. Could they be trusted? If they lied to her, she would be destroyed. Yet, if she had not helped them, she knew that she would be destroyed when Israel came to take the land. She had nothing to lose.
In her faith, Rahab overcame sin. There is no record of her continuing her former occupation after her salvation. In fact, she became the great-great-grandmother of the future king of Israel, David, and a part of the lineage of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. God doesn’t hold our past against us when we repent; instead, despite our past, He uses us to accomplish His will.