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.

Study Notes

Background Scripture 

Joshua 2

Joshua 6

Matthew 1:5

Hebrews 11:31

James 2:25

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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About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.

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