What a beautiful illustration of redemption is the story of Rahab. A pagan prostitute, she would have been the least likely candidate to be included in the lineage of Jesus, and yet, she’s there.
Rahab watched as the Israelites camped outside Jericho. She listened to the men talk about the Israelites and their God, and when the spies came into town, she was waiting and ready to meet them. She confessed her faith in their God and asked for their protection for herself and her family. Her request was granted.
While the rest of Jericho perished, Rahab and her family were brought to safety at the outskirts of the Israelite camp. That would have been an amazing rescue story on its own, but the story doesn’t end there.
Rahab went on to marry Salmon, from the line of Judah, and her great, great grandson was King David.
Although Rahab married a godly man, she could have easily been removed from the family records so as to eliminate the embarrassment of having a prostitute included in the family. Instead, the Bible writers wanted to make sure everyone knew she was there.
Matthew mentions her name in the genealogy leading to the birth of Jesus. The book of Hebrews includes her in the listing of heroes of faith. And James uses her as an example of faith at work.
Why did God include a woman like Rahab in the lineage of his son? So that we might better understand the extent of his saving power. If God could use a pagan prostitute, he can use anyone. May we learn from Rahab’s willingness to seek him out, risking her life in order to follow him in faith.
Scripture Background: Joshua 2, 6