It’s shocking enough that God could take a crusty old pagan like Abraham and make him a hero of the faith.
For the first few decades of her life Rahab was an idolater, just like Abraham. In fact, her city, ancient
We’re not talking Mother Teresa, all old and wrinkled and saintly. We’re talking street-wise, sexy, and just a little too friendly Rahab the innkeeper. Honestly, if she walked into the average church and sat on the front row, would that be a good thing? What would you say or think?
Yet what does God see when he looks at Rahab? The Lord looks beyond her past and gives her an opportunity to make her small seed of faith real. And that opportunity came with a knock on her door.
Two strangers ask if they may come in. Rahab correctly guesses who they are and why they’ve come. The moment of decision has come. Rahab motions for them to follow her onto the roof of her home between
What is Rahab doing? She knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s willingly, knowingly risking her very life. As predicted, the king hears word about the two spies and sends soldiers to arrest them. Rahab feigns innocence and then sends the soldiers on a wild goose chase. What in the world is she doing? She’s willing to trade her life for theirs. Why? It doesn’t make sense. Unless God has been at work in her heart. Has He? Listen to Rahab’s profound professions of faith.
First she tells the two spies: “I know that the LORD has given this land to you” (Joshua 2:9).
Then Rahab goes on to profess her belief that “the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” (2:11).
In other words, Rahab was saying, “I’ve rejected my people, my old way of life, my worthless idolatry. Your people are my people. Your God is my God.”
Exactly a century ago, archaeologists working at the site of ancient
What’s remarkable is that toward the end of Joshua chapter 6, Joshua affirms: “And Rahab lives among our people to this day.” In other words, she was accepted as a member of God’s chosen people. No longer was it “Rahab of Jericho.” No longer was it “Rahab the prostitute.” The prophet Joshua considered her “Rahab the woman of faith in the one true God.”
In other words, two former pagans, both moon worshippers, were deliberately chosen by God to be part of Jesus’ lineage.
God gave them the gift of faith. And then God uses risky, difficult, and sometimes even life-threatening circumstances to test and stretch and grow their faith. They didn’t barely have faith. Instead, their faith became vibrant, robust, and strong.
Even more remarkable, God can give the gift of faith to anyone.If He gives someone that wonderful gift, God wants to see it grow and mature and bear fruit — fruit by what we say — and fruit by what we do.