(3 minute read)
As Israel enters the homeland that God has long promised them, Joshua sends scouts to get the lay of the land. Sneaking through Jericho, they are given hospitality and protection by the prostitute Rahab. Among enemies they find a friend.
Rahab had heard and believed the stories of God’s faithfulness and power, and her act of trust saves her. Her faith overcomes all barriers that should have divided her from these spies of a completely different nation and religion. Her nationality, occupation, and her past don’t matter. Only her faith determines her fate. For this simple faith, the author of Hebrews ranks her among the important figures of the Old Testament.
Rahab became a significant character for Christians centuries later for a number of reasons. First, she is an ancestor of Jesus himself, reminding us that God was never just the God of one nation. He gathers all nations—ultimately in Christ—to worship him. Also, Rahab’s story embodies God’s salvation and grace. In Jesus’ own day, his message of the Kingdom was most faithfully received by people of the margins like Rahab—prostitutes, foreigners, the lame, the outcasts. The crimson cord that Rahab hangs from her window echoes the blood of the lamb on the doorposts at Passover and foreshadows the blood of Jesus that secures our salvation. We cling to this cord, marking our homes and lives with it. Under this cord God gathers people from all nations into his household.
Spend time in prayer simply reading Joshua and reflecting on the character of Rahab. Imagine having a conversation with her. Who is she? What does she value and live for? Why is she found so remarkable? How can you relate to her? How does she challenge you? How do you see God’s grace at work in her? Pray that the same faith that lived in her might grow in you.
About the Author
Nick Chambers is the Director of Spiritual Formation at Calvary UMC.