by Pradha Chakravarthy
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the (wo)men of old gained approval” (Hebrews 11:1-2).
God chose Rahab in the Old Testament to manifest His kindness and mercy to those who firmly trust God in the depths of their heart. She was a prostitute who lived in Jericho and was not an Israelite by birth. She did not grow up hearing faith-building stories about how God was with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She was probably the least respected woman in Jericho, but God highly esteemed her faith, and saved her and honored her. Thus, her life is a witness to all of us, that God is merciful and faithful.
We read about Rahab in Joshua Chapter 2. She hid the spies in faith that the Lord of Israel was the Supreme God of the heavens and the earth (Joshua 2:11). She also believed in the authority of God over the authority of the king of Jericho, and that gave her the boldness to mislead the guards who came to inquire about the spies. She wasn’t afraid of the king anymore. Even her own life was unimportant to her! All that she wanted was to be on the side of God to protect the spies.
“Was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” (James 2:25).
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
The spies had come just to scout out the land and report back to Joshua. For the rest of the people in Jericho it was a time of uncertainty but Rahab said, “I know the Lord has given you this land” (Joshua 2:9). She had unshakable faith in God, that He would give the land of Jericho to the Israelites. Again, in faith, she asked the spies to spare her and her family, and tied the scarlet rope to the window through which she had let the spies down. In faith, she and her family stayed inside the house for 7 days without knowing when the Lord would deliver them through the Israelites. The faith in her heart was justified by her actions which pleased God, and she gained His approval!
“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace” (Hebrews 11:31).
Rahab lived in Israel thereafter and married Salmon who was an Israelite. It’s amazing to see how God placed her in Israel as a vessel of honor despite her past. In Ruth Chapter 1 we read that during the time of the Judges, there was a great famine, and Elimelech and Naomi went to Moab to make a living. Even at such a time, Rahab and Salmon remained in Israel trusting God. God blessed them with a son named Boaz who was a godly man and he showed to Ruth the same kindness that God showed to Rahab. Rahab excelled as a mother in bringing up Boaz to be a man who was kind and compassionate to his workers, and to Ruth. And this is the lineage that God chose for His Son Jesus to be born into this world (Matthew 1:5).
So, dear sisters, no matter what our past is, let us have our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ who can turn us into “vessels of honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work, if we cleanse ourselves from our sin” (II Timothy 2:21). Even if the devil or someone else brings up memories of our past, let us have that unshakable faith in God — that He has forgiven our sins, and we are the children of light. (I Thessalonians 5:5). If we have that true faith that we are forgiven, we will forgive others and be merciful them as well.
Let us follow the example of Rahab in trusting God’s supremacy, authority, and mighty power that He is able to and will deliver us from every evil. He will carry us through any difficult situation and like Rahab, we can hope in His mercy, lovingkindness, and faithfulness until the day of Jesus’ return.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24,25).