Summary: Part 3 of 6 of the series, Who’s That? Stories of little known people of the Bible. How could a prostitute be given the same honor as man like Abraham? Read her story and discover the rewards of trusting God...
Read text: Joshua 2:1-24
Context surrounding Rahab’s story:The Bible doesn’t have a whole lot to say about the life of this woman. It seems that the only account we have of her is found here in Joshua. Initially, it seems that Rahab isn’t exactly heroine material. She is first introduced as a prostitute – not someone you would expect to be praised in the scriptures! Yet she is… The story of Rahab is located right in the midst of the biblical account of the launch of Israel’s military campaign to conquer the Promised Land (Canaan). The Israelites are camped by the Jordan River waiting for the orders to cross and take possession of the land they had been waiting so long for. Joshua, their new leader, sends in two spies to help in the planning of his strategy.
These spies come to Jericho, the first city in the path of the coming conquerors, and we read that their first stop was the house of the prostitute Rahab. Wait a minute here! I thought they were told to look over the land not look over the people…well anyway... The question that immediately comes to mind is, why would the spies go to a prostitute’s house? Disregarding the obvious and perhaps more immoral answers for the Bible would have mentioned these possible answers if they were true – I believe…It was a good place to gather information and no questions would be asked in return. No doubt Rahab’s house would have been a frequent stopping place for travelers from other parts of the land and therefore much news would have been exchanged.It was in an ideal location for a quick escape because it was built into the city wall (Joshua 2:15)
God directed the spies to Rahab’s house because He knew her heart was open to Him and that she would be instrumental in the Israelite victory over Jericho.The New Testament describes Rahab as a woman of great faith and trust in God. And the basis for these statements rest in this short event recorded in Joshua 2. As we zero in on this event today I trust that we will find God often uses people with simple faith to accomplish His great purposes, no matter what kind of past they have had or insignificant they seem to be! Remember, one of the slogans we use here at HPC is "ordinary people who are part of an extraordinary plan". And that phrase was developed out of this simple belief – God will use ordinary people for his extraordinary plans when ordinary people have simple faith in Him!
So, What is it that stands out about Rahab?Her faith was based on who God is not who she is (v. 1, 9-11)
Joshua 2:1 (NIV)
1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. "Go, look over the land," he said, "especially Jericho." So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
Joshua 2:9-11 (NIV)
9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.