Do you know who Rahab was? She is listed in the Faith Hall of Fame, Hebrews 11.
“By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.” Hebrews 11:31, HCSB
However, we first meet her in the second chapter of the book of Joshua.
“Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove, saying, ‘Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.’ So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.” Joshua 2:1, HCSB
Joshua had sent these spies over into Jericho to spy out the city. Rahab lived in Jericho and hid the spies from her king so they were able to return to Joshua. She did this because she had heard of what God had done on behalf of the Israelites against other cities. While some of her neighbors had learned of these things and began to cower in fear (which eventually led to their ruin), she had begun to have faith. It is through this faith that we come to learn of her.
Flip over to James 2:24-26. In a discussion about righteousness and faith, James brings up her name and says,
“24You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” James 2:24-26, HCSB
Now you would think that all this time later, she could just be Rahab, right? I mean she did the Children of Israel a solid and then spent the rest of her life among them. But James still refers to her along with her profession. I mean we don’t ever see people say, “Jesus the carpenter” or “Paul the tentmaker”, but here we see her still discussed as a prostitute. I think this is indicative of the difference in how we see our neighbors versus how God sees them. Here we are thousands of years later still seeing her as a prostitute.
Let’s find out how God sees her.
“1The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: ………. 5Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse,” Matthew 1:1,5 HCSB
Not only did Rahab go on to became the great grandmother of Israel’s 2nd greatest king (David), but she is in the family line of God’s Son!! There are two big points here for us as parents. First, we have to be sure that our children are able to look past people’s pasts and see the faith they’re operating in today, no matter how immature or imperfect that faith is. Secondly, we have to be sure that our children know that even if (or when) they get into trouble and mess up, not only do they still have a place in our lives, hearts and families but more importantly they still have a place in the kingdom of God!!
Thank you, Lord for seeing us for who we will be and not the mess that we are currently in!