Summary: In Hebrews 11 we encounter faith’s Hall of Fame. In this roster we read the names of truly famous biblical characters such as Abraham, Moses, and David. However, there is one name in particular listed this Hall of Fame which raises a few eyebrows. That na
The Faith of Rahab
Reading: Hebrews 11:1-13
Text: Joshua 2:1-24
In Hebrews 11 we encounter faith’s Hall of Fame. In this roster we read the names of truly famous biblical characters such as Abraham, Moses, and David. The list is an extended one, as we would expect. Most of the names speak for themselves. However, there is one name in particular listed this Hall of Fame which raises a few eyebrows.
That name is the name of Rahab. We cannot help but ask: Why is Rahab in faith’s Hall of Fame? What is her claim to fame?
• Joshua 2:1 tells us who Rahab was; a harlot in Jericho. We ask, “How can a prostitute be placed alongside Abraham?”
• Joshua 2:2-7 describes her assistance to the Israelite spies sent by Joshua. The story says that she hid the spies among some rooftop flax and then deliberately misled the king’s soldiers who ended up on a wild goose chase.
• Joshua 2:8-13 provides an account of her apparent profession of faith. She told the spies that she is convinced that God had given the city of Jericho to the Israelites.
We must restate our original question: Did Rahab really deserve to be in faith’s Hall of Fame?
Heb 11:31 emphatically answers: “By faith the prostitute Rahab . . . was not killed with those who were disobedient.” Rahab had faith! Her faith qualified her for Hall of Fame status. What an amazing proposition!
Nevertheless, a question begs to be answered. What was this faith that Rahab had?
I. The foundation of her faith.
A. Romans 10:17 “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”
1. A striking fulfillment of the above prediction is found in the words of Rahab to the two spies: "I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath" (Josua 2:9-11).
2. In the prophetic song of Moses at the Red Sea it was declared, "The people shall hear and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which Thou hast purchased" (Ex. 15:14-16).
3. This it is which explains the reference in Hebrews 11:31 unto the other inhabitants of Jericho, who perished because they "believed not." The knowledge which they had of God and His wondrous works, through the reports which had reached their ears, rendered them without excuse for disbelief.
4. Thus it was with Rahab. Quickened by the Spirit, faith was planted within her soul, hence when the report reached her of God’s wondrous works, she received it "not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God" (1 Thess. 2:13), and therefore did she say, "I know that the Lord hath given you the land."
II. The nature of her faith.
A. It was a singular faith.
1. The city of Jericho was about to be attacked: within its walls there were hosts of people of all classes and characters, and they knew right well that if their city should be set upon and stormed they would all be put to death.
2. But yet strange to say, there was not one of them who repented of sin or who even asked for mercy, except this woman who had been a harlot. She and she alone was delivered, a solitary one amongst a multitude. Now, have you ever felt that it is a very hard thing to have a singular faith?
3. It is the easiest thing in the world to believe as everybody else believes, but the difficulty is to believe a thing alone, when no one else thinks as you think; to be the solitary champion of a righteous cause, when the enemy mustereth his thousands to the battle.