I wrote this for the Third Option Men site… but I thought it was broader than that, so I’m posting it here as well. I hope that it encourages you.
I was reading Hebrews 11 the other day. It’s an inspiring passage full of people that we’re encouraged to look to and follow. It’s our ‘great cloud of witnesses’ watching us in hope that we run the race worthy of their sacrifices.
Rahab is mentioned as being justified before God by her faith.
Matthew went so far as to honor her, a prostitute in Christ’s lineage.
So, what is it that Rahab had that was worth looking to? Why was a heathen harlot, who had most definitely done unspeakable acts against God honored as part of the cloud of witnesses who’ve run the race ahead of us?
That’s what it says. She had faith.
Now the writer of Hebrews didn’t have anything more than we do to go on. So let’s look at what her faith looked like.
She was faced with housing and hiding spies from Israel, and she does so. When she goes up to check on them, here’s what she has to say.
I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before 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 the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan… whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
I read that this morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks. She had faith… not in future forgiveness, not in the Messiah, nor in grace or in anything that modern Christians love to cling to about God.
Rahab saw the untouchable, unstoppable, terrifying power of God, and she had to yield to it.
She declared it out loud, that God, our God, is ruler of heaven above and on earth beneath, and she was now willing to cut ties with her whole culture and people to bend her knee to the throne of God.
She had no clue as to whether she’d be given mercy. She had no hope or life other than that of a heathen prostitute. And when she saw God coming near, she knew that nothing else mattered. Life as she knew it was over. This couldn’t have been easy.
She was turning her back on everything that she knew to follow a God that she was in awe of. She only knew about God, she did not know Him, and still… she bowed.
We could stand a dose of that type of faith and reverence among those of us who call ourselves disciples of the Most High God. Life as we know it is over… we yield to God in all things.
So Rahab was blessed tremendously.
In the long run, she knew the Father’s forgiveness better than most. And I’m quite sure that she had a very grateful heart.
She raised a wonderful young man named Boaz, who’s life was also a reflection of the saving love of our Lord.
She wouldn’t have received those blessings had she not been willing to usher in her society’s enemies, and watch her world crumble.
It’s amazing to me sometimes, God totally wants to do the very same thing with our lives; to utterly destroy everything of us that ties us down to this world, and keeps us from being one with Him. It looks like torture, hell and heartache… but in the end, just as in Rahab’s life, there’s always resurrection.