Summary: In Joshua 2, we read about a woman named Rahab. She was a prostitute who had faith in God, helped the Israelites, and even became the 35th great-grandmother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please turn in your bibles to the book of JOSHUA, chapter 2. Our subject today will be on a woman named Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute. Should we shun her or love her? I think most people would be surprised to know we are called to love her with our hearts. But to do this we must first understand who Rahab was and what she did.
Rehab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. She was not Jewish, but she had true faith in God, because she had hear all the stories about how God had protected and helped the Jews. And so today, we will be talking about how, in spite of her background, Rahab had proven to be a strong woman of faith.
To set the story up, we shall give a brief history and background of this story. Moses died and God told Joshua to take over. Before he led the people into the Promised Land, he sent spies there to scout the area. That way they would know beforehand what they were getting themselves into when they entered the land.
“Now Joshua, the son of Nun, sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.”
We don’t know how they came to know her, but when they met, she agreed to take them into her home.
“4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)”
Somebody told the king about some spies entering the city and the king sent out his guards to find them. When they came to Rahab, she said they had been there, but she said they had left.
And then, she sent the guards on a wild goose chase, thereby keeping the spies safe for the time being. She said they had been there but that they had already left. Then, she hid them on her roof under some stalks and flax.
As she was hiding them, she began talking to them and she opens up to them.
“8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For 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 the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.”
“11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
Just before everyone went to sleep, Rahab goes up on the roof and talks to the spies. What she says, shows her strong faith in God. She told them how she had heard the stories of how the Israelites were God’s elect and how He had always protected them and had given them victory over their enemies. She also said she knew the Israelites would soon enter into her land. So, she strikes up an agreement with the spies that if she helped them, they would keep her family safe when they returned. The Israelite spies agreed to do that.
In Joshua, chapters 3 through 5, it talks about how Joshua readied all the people to go into that Promised Land. So let’s go directly into chapter 6 now.
Joshua and all the people have now entered into the Promised Land, and are now in sight of the city of Jericho where the spies met with Rahab. When they got near the city, they camped outside the city walls. Those inside the city saw them and were very afraid because they knew that their doom was soon to follow.