“…for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath…swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you…you will deliver our lives from death.” (Joshua 2:11b-13)
Hated because of her ethnicity, and scorned because of her work as a prostitute, Rahab was a woman whose lies saved the lives of two men and in doing so, eventually saved those of her entire family. It’s a story only God could have orchestrated.
We know nothing about Rahab’s life prior to her helping two men sent by Joshua to spy on the land of Jericho in preparation for their invasion. What we can safely assume, however, is that she was looked down upon, ignored, and certainly abused…a woman on the very bottom rung of society’s ladder. But God did not see her that way. Who He saw was a woman to whom He had given both wisdom and courage – a woman strong, savvy, and brave enough to say yes to His plan despite the danger it entailed.
It was an intricate reconnaissance mission carried out over the course of several days, and one that required a great deal of faith in the Lord from all parties involved. As the spies hid upon her roof, they had to have faith she would not disclose their location to the city officials looking to capture them. But Rahab remained true to her word, and diverted the attention of those pursuing them, in turn allowing the men to escape unharmed. Likewise, she was required to trust the word of the spies when they promised her that her family’s house (and all those who gathered within) would not be touched when the Israelite army invaded. By hanging a scarlet cord in her window, she signified which home to pass over, and her entire family was saved.
It’s hard for us to imagine facing a scenario like that today. But at some point or another, many of us have felt unwanted. Unseen. Perhaps abused in some way by the people around us or even life itself. Unusable to God. Yet Rahab’s story shows that He can use literally anyone to accomplish His will and play a significant role in the mission. Your status in life has no bearing on your work for the kingdom. There’s a reason why Rahab is listed in Hebrews 11, commonly known as the “Hall of Faith.” There’s a reason why she is listed in the genealogy of Christ. Her faith saved lives. Her courage was used by God to bring about His purposes. Her trust spurred her on as she fulfilled her part in God’s bigger plan. And history was impacted for eternity.
Father, we are so encouraged and inspired by the life of Rahab, and by how You used her. Thank you that Your work is not limited by who we are, or the skills, connections, or influence we may or may not have upon this earth. As we seek You daily, praying for Your will to be accomplished in our lives, we humbly ask that You fill us with the same boldness and faith so evident in hers.