I have been writing a lot here lately about the righteousness imputed to us by God and His generous grace. Something came up recently in a conversation about Rahab and I had to go and re-read her story. Her life is a great example of the great forgiveness and redemption plan of our God.
Rahab was a harlot in Jericho. Jericho was the first city conquered by the Israelites when they came out of the wilderness and began to inherit the Promised Land. It was the first battle in that land of the second generation Israelites who were the children of the group that came out of Egypt, the group that grumbled and complained against God, the group that committed idolatry and lusted. Many of that group died, not receiving God’s promises. Let us not be like them.
When two Israelite spies showed up in Jericho, sent by Joshua, the new leader after Moses died, Rahab the harlot sheltered them. She hid them from the authorities who came looking for them. She lied for them and helped them escape. Why did she do this for strangers? Because she had heard of the Israelites, and she knew that their God was real and that He was with them. She had faith. She told those two spies that everyone in Jericho was deathly afraid of the Israelites. She knew the city of Jericho was in trouble and she asked the spies to have regard for her and save her family from destruction, which they granted. Her house was on the wall around Jericho and the spies told her to make sure she had a red rope tied in the window. This is a picture similar to the Israelites posting blood on their door posts when the last plague swept over Egypt. It was a symbol of their reliance on the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), for their protection. The spies promised her all would be well as long as her whole family was in her house and that red rope was seen in her window. She and they would be safe.
Rahab and her family were saved in Jericho and she went on to marry an Israelite man and become the mother of Salmon, who was the father of Boaz, who married Ruth, the Moabitess (another outsider grafted into Israel) and eventually wind up as an ancestor to Jesus Christ, God’s Son. What an awesome picture of grace and redemption, that a heathen girl in a heathen city marked for destruction was brought into the lineage of Jesus. It just goes to show that God is no respecter of persons indeed! Ruth the Moabitess, also was grafted into the lineage of Jesus, by her allegiance to Naomi after the loss of her husband, who was Naomi’s son. Moab was the lowest of the low as far as sinfulness was concerned.
Rahab is also mentioned in the “Hall of Faith” chapter, Hebrews 11. God loves us, folks! He takes the lowliest of people and lifts them up to become something they never dreamed of becoming. Rahab did not miss her opportunity to become more than she was.
May we never forget God’s heart for the lowly and outcast of our society. Jesus touched and healed lepers, who were outcasts. He allowed a harlot to anoint His feet with an expensive perfume that took a year’s wages to purchase. Where she came up with that amount of money is beyond me. Would you save a year’s wages? And if you did, would you spend it all on a perfume and then spill that perfume over a man? It was an extravagant action.
But that harlot was in love with the Man who had forgiven her of her sins and brought her into right relationship with God. Jesus said this about her, that he who is forgiven much, loves much. Have you been forgiven much? If so, do you love much? One can’t help but love much when they fully realize what they have been forgiven for and saved from, and the fact that God let His Son die a cruel death on the cross so that WE could be saved and set free from the devil’s dominion. What a Savior we have! What amazing grace!
“…Jesus….who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. The joy set before Him was OUR FREEDOM!