Have you ever felt like a prisoner of your past, or even your present? Part of a family with a reputation you are embarrassed by? Perhaps, by your own choices, you are labeled. You no longer are known by who you are, but what you’ve done. What was a one-time season of your life got so much attention; it became your calling card. Hold fast, my friend. If we learn one thing from Rahab let it be this… nobody is beyond the reversing redemption of God.
Rahab the prostitute. Rahab the harlot. This woman was not known by her name. Nor as a daughter, sister, friend… every time her name left someone’s lips, the reminder of her reputation was attached. Joshua 2:2 ‘But someone told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land. So the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab the harlot: “Bring out the men who have come into your house, for they have come here to spy out the whole land.”
Nobody told the king where the men went. By her reputation, the king assumed they were at her house. He may have been right to assume the men were with her, but what he did not expect was Rahab using her reputation to make room for Gods redemption. So many try to ignore their past to get to the future, but you can not amputate your history from your destiny. God will gently take the thing that was meant to hold you captive, and remake it to set other captives free. He is Redeemer, that is His name. We get to know God in a way even the angels don’t. They don’t need redeeming, we do! We get to know God for His beautiful redemption, His loving restoration, His empowering remaking… Rahab experienced the fullness of this by her faith!
I know many see Rahab as a prostitute by proud choice. Maybe she was trouble, up to no good, and loved the thrill of using her body to make money. I don’t believe this. Not for a second. In Joshua 2 and again in Joshua 6, over and over again, it is said that not only will Rahab be spared because she hid the Israelite spies, but that ‘all your family members- your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives- will be saved.’ By this alone, I don’t see a woman loving her life, turning away from her family and loved ones. I see a woman doing what she hated, praying for a way out, not just for her but her family. We see in her conversation with the spies, she is extremely knowledgeable about what God had done for them. She even says in Joshua 2:11, “For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.” This tells me, she had hope in her heart that the God of the Israelites could somehow make a way for her as well.
This woman wasn’t a harlot in her heart. She didn’t let the darkest season of her life settle into her spirit. She held on to hope and her ‘one day’ came where she had the opportunity to put her faith that there was more to her life, to action. She boldly set aside every label, fear, excuse, and bit of shame, and grabbed hold of this promise of a completely new beginning. I can relate. My past is riddled with many seasons that could have destroyed me. I want to say to you, do not allow yourself to become what you hate. What if God is setting you up to be the one to completely, radically shift your lineage? By Rahab’s extravagant faith, not only did she spare her life and the life of her family, but she changed her reputation. Rahab the harlot, as she was known in Jericho, became a wife of Salmon, an Israelite. Not only did she become a wife, she became a mother. The mother of Boaz (who married Ruth) the grandmother of Obed, great-grandmother of Jesse, who was the father of King David. Rahab went from being known as a prostitute to being remembered as a descendent of Jesus. Beloved, you are worth saving, restoring, and remaking.
Featured image by Allison Mims