A Bold Faith
Meet Rahab. She’s risky, she’s bold, she has a colourful past err… or maybe more accurately - a scandalous past– a harlot and perhaps an innkeeper. She’s full of FAITH and makes it into the hall of faith (Hebrews 11). She’s chosen. Rahab is one of Jesus’ ancestors, in the line of David, and one of the handful of women who is elaborated on in the Bible. I’m red with envy over this lady’s faith.
At one point, I bet you could have found her looking out her window that opened up to roads she’d never trodden on but always wondered about…where and what people they lead to, what else lies along the paths outside the city limits. Her home lies on the outermost part of the city, on the city wall. She’s an outsider because of vocation, because of location. She’d be the least likely to marry a prince, she’s the least likely to leave all she knows to obey a Holy God and be counted as righteous.
I suspect many travelers would visit her house full of accounts of other places, people, other gods. One particular account had compelled her, more than any other -- the testimony of the LORD: he dried up the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape Egypt, and gave them epic victories in battle. She was struck by what she heard about this God.
So in short, Rahab has a serendipitous meeting with two Israelite men coming to check out the land God promised to them. The spies pledged that her life would be spared if she would tie a scarlet thread through her window. She was coy and hid them and covered for them when questioned about their whereabouts.
When I was younger I decided that I needed to know God, like experience Him and be touched by Him personally. I couldn’t just follow a God that I had just been told about and my family had chosen. I needed to experience and know Him. Thankfully God did meet me and touch me with who He is in a personal way. I would be woken up in the wee hours of the morning and God compelled me to sing to Him, and read about Him in the Bible. He did a new thing in my heart and I was able to fully give Him decisions and let Him lead me with the little things and big things in my life.
But how about Rahab’s faith? She had only heard about this God: “For we have heard how the LORD…” (Joshua 2:10) and yet she deeply believed. Probably no one else she knew followed this God until she meet the two Israelites. But testimony of the LORD had gripped her soul in a way that captured her, shaped her decisions. Her actions showed her genuine faith and belief in this unknown, foreign God. Without seeing, or experiencing this foreign God first-hand, she was convinced. Rahab just knew this God was a powerful, mighty God and she was willing to step aside from everything she knew and had been taught and trust.
And then I can’t get away from the way Rahab responded to God. Her response sets her apart and shows her tender and willing heart towards the Lord. Rahab told the Israelite spies “for we have heard how the LORD”… “and “our hearts melted and no courage remained…for the LORD your God”. But only Rahab responded with genuine reverence towards the LORD and His people. Only Rahab confidently proclaimed who God is: “He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Rahab’s faith, responsiveness, and revelation of God makes her a women I respect and aspire to be like.
Rahab went from being an outsider but now included in blood line of our Savior, Jesus. She was a harlot, became a princess, a bride to Prince Salmon. Once her house was on the city wall, vulnerable and exploited, but then found herself protected from desolation and living “in the midst of Israel” Joshua 6:25.
God is a God of redemption. He is a God of the unlikelys, He is a God of the redeemed. Redemption – It’s written into our lives’ story, like a scarlet thread that you just can’t miss, we are a beautiful collection of unlikely, redeemed daughters of the King.
My response to Rahab is to ask the Lord for greater faith and to be quicker to give a testimony of who God is. Because like Rahab, there may just be an unlikely person needing to hear it.
What’s your redemption story?