Summary: God makes room for all, even for those women we routinely dismiss because of a soiled past. If God accepts Rahab the prostitute, He will accept me if I look to Him in faith.

“Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, ‘Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.’ Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.’ But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, ‘True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.’ But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.” [1]

During my days of service before the Lord in the City of San Francisco, the congregation experienced numerous events that caused a stir. For instance, I recall the day Patty Hearst was captured near our church building. We realized that we had visited that house, knocking on the door and inviting those living there to join us in worship. As you can imagine, her capture occasioned quite a disturbance.

On another occasion, I was stunned when informed of the robbery of one of the ladies as she left a service one Sunday morning. A woman grabbed our parishioner’s handbag which she had slung on her shoulder. When Sylvia didn’t surrender the bag, the woman began to beat her in the face with a handgun until the strap broke on the bag. The woman jumped into a waiting car and the male driver took the handgun from her. Sylvia’s husband, one of my best friends in the city, rushed to the driver’s side of the car and reached in to grab the keys. The driver shoved the gun into Tony’s face and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, the gun misfired, and Tony was spared injury or death.

There was the day a motley group attempted to take over the service to announce that the New Jerusalem would soon be descending to St. Cloud, Minnesota. The message they attempted to announce on that day was that we’d all have to move there if we wished to be part of the celestial city. The pastor indicated to the organist that she should loudly play a lively hymn. The congregation stood and began to sing loudly while the ushers moved to the front of the auditorium and escorted the people disrupting the service from the building. Actually, there was no one particularly interested in moving to St. Cloud, Minnesota, even if the New Jerusalem was soon to descend somewhere near there.

One event, however, stands out in my memory. It was the attempted kidnapping of a child from the church nursery during a worship service. A prostitute had been saved and united with the church. She had a child, a product of one of her multiplied trysts. This woman was transformed by the grace of God, and she was an example of the believer despite a sordid past. For some months she had demonstrated grace and beauty as she sought to learn of the things of Christ and to put all she was learning into practise.

During one Sunday service, there was a loud disturbance in the foyer area, just down the stairs and outside the main auditorium. The ushers for the congregation were chosen for their ability to respond to disturbances quickly, and most of them were large men. In addition to being godly and willing to serve others, being muscular and fearless was certainly an advantage for those selected to fill that position. Several of the ushers rushed down the stairs and confronted a man who was attempting to force his way into the nursery. He had been the pimp for this woman who had been saved and delivered from her past. That evil man thought that by kidnapping her child he could force her back into his control where he could profit off her body. His scheme didn’t work out.

I have often thought of this woman, marvelling at the transformation in her life when the Spirit of God had taken up residence. Once, she had been a prostitute. Then she came to faith in the Risen Son of God, and the Spirit of Christ transformed her life. Now, she served Christ by working in the nursery and she shared in teaching young girls in the Sunday School. God had performed a gracious work in her life, and the reality of the Word was evident in her life. She was a living example of ROMANS 12:1-2. You will recall that Paul wrote, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion