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Rahab: A Hooker with a Heart for God

Joshua 2:1-21, 6:16-25

Call her a lady of the evening, if you like, or a streetwalker. Yet the Bible calls Rahab worthy, listing her among the faithful in Hebrews 11.

We meet our unlikely heroine when Joshua dispatched two spies to check out Jericho. Arriving in town, they "entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there" ().

Unfortunately, Joshua's men were spotted. The king of Jericho sent a message to Rahab: "Bring out the men who came to you" (). Instead, Rahab hid the men and told the king's soldiers the spies had left town.

A Brave Profession

Rahab then made a beeline for the roof, where the spies were spending the night, and proclaimed, "I know that the Lord has given this land to you" ().

The citizens of Jericho had heard about the power of the Israelites' God—his parting the Red Sea and destroying neighboring kingdoms. "When we heard of it," Rahab confessed, "our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you" ().

If Rahab's honesty didn't win the spies' trust, surely her next words did: "For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below" ().

You heard the woman: "God is God!" A genuine profession of faith, just as the apostle Paul described centuries later: "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" ().

Rahab asked these men to spare her family from certain death. The men assured her, "Our lives for your lives!" ().

After instructing the two men to run for the hills and hide, Rahab lowered them by rope through a window to safety outside the city wall. If you're looking for a strong female role model, take note. Rahab was brave, decisive, and quick to give orders.

She also took direction well. When the men told her to tie a scarlet cord in that same window, Rahab did so the minute they hit the ground.

Scarlet. Now there's a color that makes a statement. "Though your sins are like scarlet … " (). Rahab's sins were scarlet, all right, yet washed clean by the God she trusted to save her and all whom she loved.

A Miraculous Save

For seven long days Rahab and her family heard the Israelites marching around Jericho. On the seventh day Joshua commanded his people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!" (). You know the song: "And the walls came a-tumblin' down."

One house remained standing. "Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her" (). Because of her faith, God saved Rahab in every sense of the word. The Israelites welcomed her into their camp, where a man named Salmon chose her for his bride.

Rahab gave birth to a son, Boaz, who married a woman named Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David. And you know where that lineage leads.

Transformed by God from harlot to heroine, Rahab is an inspiration for every woman. You, too, can leave your past behind and walk forward in glorious grace, proclaiming to all who will listen, "God is God!"

Liz curtis higgs is the author of 26 books, including Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible  (WaterBrook Press). She lives with her husband in Kentucky. Visit her website: www.LizCurtisHiggs.com.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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