Before the men fell asleep, [Rahab] went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my father’s family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.” The men answered her, “We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the Lord gives us the land.”
Joshua 2:8-14 (CSB)
All but one mention of Rahab’s name in Scripture includes the title “the prostitute.” What a way to be remembered! However, the mention of Rahab’s former way of life is not used as a judgment of her character, but rather a reminder of the way God redeemed her life. She’d been living a life of desperation and sin, but she’d also heard about a powerful God leading the Israelites through the desert — and she wanted to know more. Though she was from a pagan, Canaanite city, she feared God when she heard of all of the miracles He performed for His people in the wilderness. When God’s people needed an ally, He was able to use Rahab and grow her faith.
The repeated mentions of Rahab’s profession also illustrate something powerful — that God doesn’t require perfection, only repentance. After all, if He had to wait for perfect people to carry out His good plans, He’d wait forever! No, God works in many mysterious ways, including the way He moves in and through the lives of sinners. When God’s people asked for her help, Rahab didn’t hesitate. She helped them, she protected them, and she kept her promises to them. In return, she was protected by them as well.
By faith Rahab the prostitute welcomed the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.
Hebrews 11:31 (CSB)
Rahab’s obedience and faith was so noteworthy that she is mentioned in the Bible’s “Hall of Faith,” the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Listed right alongside Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and Moses, Rahab is remembered for her service to the Lord and her faith in His good plans. And not only was her life (and the lives of her family members) spared when the Israelites took Jericho, she went on to play a significant role in what would become Jesus’s family tree. She became the grandmother of Boaz, the husband of Ruth, and she was a direct descendant of King David. She is one of four women mentioned in the lineage of Christ.
Do you wear labels of your past sins? Do you identify as your former self, despite being a new creation in Christ? If you believe that Jesus has already paid the penalty for your sins and have asked forgiveness for your past, it is time to let go of those old wounds. You have a new identity in Christ and it is one who is forgiven! Who is beloved! Who is cherished and valued and a vital member of God’s Kingdom! You are not who you once were. You are not what you once did. You are clean and brand new and exactly who God created you to be, and He wants to use you just like He wanted to use Rahab.
And remember, while you may grieve the choices you made in the past, you should not doubt God’s ability to use every single part of your life — good, bad, and ugly — to reveal His glory. You may regret, but God always redeems.
Others identified Rahab by her former self; perhaps she even identified herself that way. But God honored her life and faith, showing her immense grace despite her past and her heritage. He took her in as one of His own people. His grace redeemed her life and changed her future.
As you reflect on your past, may you never question God’s decision to adopt you into His family through Christ’s work on the cross. May you accept His forgiveness and your new identity as a beloved child of God. May you take courage in the truth that Jesus has given you His record, and you no longer stand on your own. May you see clearly the ways God is working everything — the old and the new, the stained and the cleansed, the regret and the redemption — together for your good and His glory. May you be remembered for your faith and for the grace God gave you.
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Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I love the story of Rahab and that she is mentioned whenever the lineage of Jesus is mentioned. Those are some interesting skeletons in the closet. My story may not be as dramatic as Rahab’s. I haven’t been a prostitute, but I have sinned. I’ve been angry, jealous/envious, impatient,judgmental, unkind, prideful in that I think I need to do things on my own and in my own power, and the list goes on. Sin doesn’t have to be so blatant…sin is sin. So thankful that Rahab’s story reminds me that I am wiped clean; seen as white as snow through the blood of Christ. Great deal…think I’ll just have have to BOGO ! Think I’ll have a giveaway at my blog… 🙂
You should do the BOGO! It is a beautiful book! I got mine and gifted the free one.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I ordered mine!!
I’ve got to get over to your blog so I have a chance to win this awesome devotional!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Would LOVE to have you…you’re welcome at my place anytime: https;//walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com
I think I’m going to try to do a post on God’s design for HSP’s…been loving the book we’ve been reading on our launch team! That would be a great post on which to do a drawing for this devotional 🙂 Would love to have you join in the fun!!
absolutely. love that when we mess up we are forgiven and God loves us.
Janet Williams says
Good morning “sisters in courage” What beautiful message to remind us how often God uses us when we are faithful. We ARE truly Forgiven, Beloved, Cherished and Valued! Thank you. Have a wonderful blessed day….and pass it on!
Great post! Very encouraging!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Instant it so good to know God loves us no matter what. Even if we mess up as Christians. We can go to God and say we are truly sorry ask his forgiveness. I David did in Psalm 51. God Loves us to much to not help us out of that sin if we ask him for his help as Christians. As he wants to set us free and have us live the lovely lives he intents us to live. Not have the Devil take us Christians down the wrong path of sin. As at times the Old Devil will try get us to do that with things he knows we have weakness in. Plus find hard. So we have to in this case stay very close to God and ask him to help us not to get into that temptation and turn away from it and do what is right in God eyes. No let the old Devil tempt us into the sin that he want us to be tempted into. That is sin in Gods eyes. That we ourselves know is wrong. So this were we have to stay so very close to God as Christians. Not let the Old Devil have the last laugh. Say ah now I got her to sin and do what is wrong in Gods eyes as Christian. So this where we have to keep close to Gods word the Bible prayer and good Christian friends. If we find the temptation to hard go seek help from a good Christian we can trust. So as we can beat this not let the Old Devil win. Stamp him under our feet. Remembering at all times Gods loves and is proud of us for going and getting the help. Owning up we had a problem. Being big enough to get help. As God wants us to know we are special he want us to be the Christian that can then smile say yes God helped me through this by helping me get the help I needed. Knowing God love you no matter what that he proud of you for getting the help. You are special to him (God) no matter what. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Beth Williams says
Rahab’s story is proof that God can & will use anyone no matter the background. He requires a willing heart & fear of the Lord. He doesn’t wait for us to be perfect or qualified. A saying goes “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” He will give us what we need to accomplish the tasks He has planned for us. Our stories may not be anything like Rahab’s. We need to have reverence for God & obey Him no matter what. God wants repentant hearts who love Him mind, body & soul. People who accept His forgiveness, your identity as a beloved child of God & act upon that. Don’t let the evil one’s lies get to you. You aren’t what you once were. You are made new. In that fact God can & will use you for His glory.
I love this! Spoke straight to my heart. I know I am forgiven but sometimes it’s easy to wallow in the guilt of past sins and yesterday’s sin! It’s important to remember we are wiped clean. I wasn’t really aware of Rahab’s story But it puts the importance of letting go, remembering Jesus has already paid the price for our mistakes and to try and move past them. It reminds me God does want yo use me to do his good work this side of heaven regardless of my sin.