Bible Society of South Africa

The faith of Rahab – 11 August 2021

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

8Before the spies settled down for the night, Rahab went up on the roof

Joshua 2:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

In terms of plot points in Israel’s history, Joshua chapter 2 is not an essential story. It’s not necessary for demonstrating God’s power or justice in overthrowing the wickedness of Jericho. But nothing appears in the Bible by accident. The story of Rahab’s redemption is one of God’s unexpected grace and undeserved mercy.

As the people of Israel were about to enter the land of Canaan, Joshua sent two of his men ahead to Jericho as spies. The city was well defended, and the people were well-armed and fiercely warlike. It didn’t take long for the king of Jericho to hear about the spies and send his men to look for them.

The spies met Rahab, a prostitute who had faith in their God, and she hid them in her home. When the king sent some men to seize the spies, Rahab lies, saying she doesn’t know where they went.

Then Rahab goes to the spies’ hiding place and confesses what she does know: “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you” (Joshua 2:10). She goes on to say: “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” (11b).

It can be easy to judge Rahab based on her profession. We often make snap judgements of others based on what they look like, where they live or what they do for work. Despite what she did and where she lived, Rahab had immense faith in the Lord.

In James 2 and Hebrews 11, we find Rahab mentioned. In the former, she is mentioned as a model of faith. In the latter, she is commended for giving a friendly welcome to the spies. In both, she is an example of how one responds to the offer of salvation.

Prayer: Father, we pray that the eyes of our hearts may be opened to see you and your plan for our world. Help me to entrust my future to you. In Jesus, Amen

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