The story of Rahab, the prostitute, is amazing and she makes the Hebrews 11 faith hall of fame. Think of that list . . . Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses. And then suddenly. . . Rahab! She’s up there with some heroes of faith and it’s because she is a trophy of grace and trusting God! The fact that she was a prostitute is glaringly obvious – when we first meet her in Joshua 2:7, in Joshua 6:17 and again in 6:25. If that isn’t enough, twice in the New Testament her occupation is mentioned:“By faith the prostitute Rahab” (Hebrews 11:31). “Rahab the prostitute” (James 2:25). Yet this lady who for whatever reason has got caught up in a sinful profession is saved by faith, marries a prince of Judah and ends up in the lineage of Jesus!
She is highlighted in Scripture – a woman (in an age where women were even more degraded and taken advantage of), a prostitute and a pagan. God wants us to know that he can save anyone. She is a beautiful illustration of the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham that through his offspring all nations on earth would be blessed.
Verses 9-13 show us that the people of Jericho had heard about Israel and they were coming and they were in great fear – hearts melted and spirits gone! Only Rahab could see that this is due to the LORD – the Spirit has opened her heart to see that and make the right choice to side with God and His people. She pleads for herself and her family v12-13.
The 2 spies agree that she will be safe if she hangs a scarlet cord from her window. That will be easily seen in the midst of the coming battle, but it has a deeper symbolism too – it reminds us of the Passover and the blood of Christ that will be shed. As soon as they left, she hung the cord out – she had no idea when the attack would come – hours, days or weeks. She immediately hung it out. She heard the promise and acted on it. She trusted and did something about it – it’s not enough to hear the truth, we must believe and act on it.
We all know what happened next – if not it will be in Weds reading!
What this amazing story teaches us is that…
God can save the worst of sinners. Even in the midst of judgment, God reaches out and saves a prostitute who turns to him in faith.
Salvation is through the blood of Jesus. Rahab represents the most hopeless of sinners and the scarlet cord represents the blood of Jesus that saves us.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
She didn’t know much, but its not the amount of faith that matters but who the faith is in!
Have you trusted Jesus to save you too?