We’ve all heard of Rahab. She’s one of the bad girls of the Old Testament, a harlot, a prostitute in a pagan city. Many Christians find it disturbing that this woman of ill repute is included in Jesus’ genealogy. They argue that surely she was merely an innkeeper. But that’s not what the Bible tells us. The word used to describe her can only mean one thing, and it’s not an innkeeper.
So why her? Why did God not only use her to help save the Hebrews but then go on to include her in the lineage of His son?
Rahab may have made a mess of her past, but because of where she was, she was in a position to offer safety to the spies. Not only was her home a hub of information and a place to slip in without notice, but it was strategically placed on top of the city walls so that the spies could exit the city undetected.
Please note, God didn’t wait until Rahab had her life cleaned up before He used her. He met her where she was at. Then He immediately gave her an assignment to test her faith. Would she place the red cord on her window or would she dismiss it as silly? Would she follow the rules that said that she and her family must remain inside if they wanted to be kept safe? How tempting it might have been to sneak outside to see what was going on around them. But they stayed where God told them to stay.
And then, that glorious moment when the dust was settling around them and the roar of the Israelites could be heard as they stormed the city. How wonderful it must have been to hear that knock on the door and have the Hebrew spies escort Rahab and her family to safety.
Rahab stepped out in faith. She risked everything she’d held dear in the past to take a chance on an unknown future. And God rewarded her for her faith with an amazing future.
For Further Study
Twelve Extraordinary Women by John Macarthur
Wicked Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler
God Speaks to Women Today by Eugenia Price
Fearless by Angela Donadio
A Woman God Can Use by Alice Mathews
Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda
Every Woman in the Bible by Sue and Larry Richard
All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer
All of the Women of the Bible by Edith Deen
All the Women of the Bible by M.L. del Mastro
The Woman’s Study Bible
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