22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
I love the story of Rahab. It is a story of God’s redemptive power. Depending on the version you read she is described as a harlot or a prostitute, as well as an innkeeper. We know from Chapter 2 that Rahab put her life on the line when she hid the two spies that Joshua had sent to scope out Jericho under the flax on her roof. She knew that Jericho was going to be destroyed. She had heard of God and all He had done for His people. She believed He was God and she knew Who to trust! Before the spies left, they promised her that everyone she brought into her house, her mother and father, brothers and sisters, and all who belonged to her, would be saved from destruction because of her actions.
Isn’t it interesting that everyone around her referred to her as a prostitute but that is not how God saw her. She was in THAT place at THAT time for a purpose. We do not know the circumstances of how she got to be in her profession, but God did. We do not know if she may have called out to “someone” in the dark of night to save her from the life she was living, but God did. What we do know is that out of a town of people He planned to destroy, He saved her and those she loved! The rest of the town was demolished, yet her house was spared. The two men she had saved were the ones sent in to save her. God had a plan for her life!
God saw something special in her—so much so that she is listed in the lineage of David. She was later married to Salmon, father of Boaz (Ruth’s husband the kinsman redeemer), Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David–a man after God’s own heart. And we know Jesus comes from the lineage of David. What a family tree!! If God can take a woman with the past Rahab had and restore her as He did, He can take our past and redeem us as well. God has a plan for our lives; “a plan to prosper us, not to harm us. A plan for hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11). All we have to do is look at the life of Rahab as an example and trust Him to do the same for us.
Heavenly Father, there is nothing in our past that you cannot redeem. You take all our brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. You see into our innermost being, the part we hide from the rest of the world. Your compassion on us is overwhelming. Thank you for your love, your grace, your mercy. Thank you that you never give up on us. You have given us examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary works in Your name. We can look at these people and gather hope that their story can be ours—a story of your redemptive work in our lives. In Jesus name I pray.