the faith of Rahab
If you have read the book of Joshua, you have most likely read about Rahab the prostitute. In Joshua chapter 2 we read that Joshua sent two spies to spy out the land in Jericho. They come into the home of Rahab. Scholars believe that Rahab was the proprietor of an Inn or probably a brothel (could have been one in the same). We read that when the king’s men came to Rahab seeking the spies, she lied to them and sent them out of the city to pursue them. There are 3 things we should take notice of here in this passage as it relates to faith.
Regarding the spies we read that “before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof.” Take note of what Rahab says, “I know that the Lord has given you the land.” This is interesting because the people of Jericho were pagans and did not believe in the God of the Hebrews. Pagans believed in many gods, but not the one true God. Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Paul tells us that hearing the word of God produces faith as the Holy spirit works supernaturally within us.
Look again at Rahab’s response beginning in verse 9. She begins by saying, “I know.” What does she know and how does she know it? She says that she knows the Lord has given the Israelites the land. She tells us how she knows in verse 10. The entire land has heard what the Lord God did for the Israelites when He delivered them out of bondage from Egypt (paraphrased). She mentions the Lord drying up the Red Sea as the Israelites were vacating Egypt. She mentions two kings Israel devoted to destruction, Sihon & Og. This is fascinating to hear her speak of these incredible acts of God.
It is worth nothing that the Israelites were in Egypt 400+ years and then wandered the wilderness for another 40+ years due to their lack of faith. Here you have a pagan prostitute telling Israel that the whole land has heard about these great acts of God that have occurred over four decades ago.
Hebrews 3:8-9 says 8 “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years,” God says, if you hear Him do not harden your heart as did the nation of Israel and as a result wandered the wilderness 40 years. Rahab heard what the Lord had done, and her heart was softened.
She not only heard what the Lord had done but she believed it. “I know” said Rahab in verse 9, and verse 11 “for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Rahab heard it, believed it, and repented of her ways. She was saved by grace through faith and not of her works but her faith was indeed justified by her works.
Rahab had faith that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews would deal faithfully with her if she surrendered to Him in faith. This is exactly what she did and what we all should do. Do you hear the Lord speaking to you through His word the Bible? Do you read His Holy scriptures with anticipation looking at all He has done, is doing and promises to do? Do you believe it? If you believe it, do you repent of your ways and put your faith wholly in Jesus? We hope so. Below you will find the start of a prayer, finish it as He leads you.
God, you are God of Heaven and of Earth, I have heard of your mighty works…