In the book of Joshua, we are introduced to one of the most thought-provoking and astonishing heroines of the Old Testament. Rahab, the prostitute of the Canaanite city of Jericho, who ultimately was made famous for her great faith and earned her place in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Examining her life will shed deeper light into God's plan for His church and for all of us individually.
Here in Joshua Chapter 2, we read about the story of Rahab.
Joshua 2:1-6 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)
After helping the Israelite spies, she made an agreement with them.
Joshua 2:12-13 “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.” Joshua 2:17-18 Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. Joshua 6:22-25 “…And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”
1. In TOTAL ABANDONMENT, Rahab found SALVATION for her and her household
Rahab, in that moment of danger, activated her faith and put it to work. In the end, not only did she save herself, she also brought those who were with her out of destruction into safety.
Even though Rahab was a prostitute, she was clearly a perceptive and intelligent woman and she was also well informed. She not only hid the spies successfully, she was also able to devise a way of escape for them.
Spiritually, Rahab was not an ideal candidate to come to faith in the one true God, the God of Israel. She was a citizen of a wicked city engaged in corrupt, depraved, pagan culture condemned by God.
However, Rahab had one asset — she had the Fear of the God of Israel. She had heard from the many men she came into contact with that the God of the Israelites was to be feared. She heard the stories of how Jehovah helped His people escape from Egypt, cross the Red Sea and had victory over the Amorites.
The Fear of the Lord came upon her and she had the following revelation: “For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” (Joshua 2:11).
It is this change of heart, this faith—coupled with the actions prompted by faith—that saved her and her family.
What about us? Do we fear God or do we fear men?
Fear of God and fear of men cannot coexist for us to see the supernatural work of God in our lives.
Hebrews 11:30-31 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
How many of you have family members that are yet to be saved?
Being a nice Christian will not bring salvation but one who abandons her life to God will provide a way of escape for those in your household.
Acts 16:31 - So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household…
Simply by your becoming a Christian will not be able to pull them from death to life.
James 2:24-26 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Don't be afraid to give yourself fully to the Lord so that He can be in a position to touch your household through your works of faith.
The Bible did not further elaborate on what Rahab did or how she lived after the escape from Jericho city. The next time her name came up was in Matthew, which listed her as a wife to Salmon and mother to Boaz.
Matthew 1:5-6 - Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.
How did Rahab go from a being a harlot to being in the lineage of Jesus Christ?
Her life, which was a picture of desolation and destruction, had radically turned into a picture of bliss and destiny. I believe that Rahab made some critical decisions during that time to open destiny's door.
2. Through COMPLETE ADOPTION, Rahab entered into her DESTINY
It is often said that Rahab, while being a true historical person, also served as a symbolic foreshadowing or “type” of the church and Gentile believers. She was, in fact, the first recorded Gentile convert.
There are many ways in which Rahab depicts the church.
A) She was part of a pagan world system whose destiny was death and destruction yet by her conversion, she like the Gentile Church, which was grafted in and become a legitimate bride. (Reference: Romans 11 and Ephesians 5:25-27)
B) Rahab was saved because of her faith in as written in Hebrews 11:31, “God in heaven above and on the earth below”.
Likewise Christians are saved by grace through faith. See Ephesians 2:8.
C) although Rahab and Christians are saved by an act of grace through faith, true faith is demonstrated by action (James 2). After salvation, every believer is expected to work out their faith and fulfill all righteousness.
D) Rahab could only save her family provided she followed the directions given to her by the Israelite spies. (Reference: Acts 4:12).
Likewise, to receive salvation, is found in no one else except Jesus Christ. (Reference: Acts 4:12)
E) Rahab's faith enabled her to turn away from the old to embrace the new. Christians need to embrace that they are now a new creation in Christ and to live a new and living way contrary to the ways of the world.
Galatians 4:4-8 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
The Bible says that God adopted us as his children. However, the adoption process is not complete if the child does not receive his adoption.
In order to enter into her destiny…
1. Rahab must adopt Her New King
Rahab recognized the true God and took Him for her own.
Joshua 2:10-11 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath
What does it mean to be adopted by God?
Being adopted by God means that we are accepted into His family and this new identity brings a multitude of blessings and responsibilities.
Being legally adopted by God means that we receive new rights.
It is not enough to simply know about these rights but we must exercise our rights. Rahab was a Canaanite living amongst the Israelites but she became an Israelite by adopting Jehovah as her God.
Without adopting God, we cannot understand our real identity.
In order to enter into her destiny…
2. Rahab must adopt Her Kingdom Identity
She was no longer Rahab the harlot but Rahab the daughter of the Most High. She was no longer a foreigner but she is now a part of God's family.
2 Corinthians 1:22a (NLT) “He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.”
Knowing our identity is an important part of living the abundant life.
Jesus' major test in the wilderness was the test of His identity.
Each time the devil says to Him ” If you are the Son of God… “.
Jesus did not let the situation casts doubt on His status. Because Jesus was secured in His identity, He was able to face the incredible demands of His mission because He knew exactly what His identity is. He knew that He mattered to God, and that gave Him confidence to move purposefully in faith.
What about us?
You are now identified with Christ and have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. You are God’s precious child, and He created you in a way that pleases him.
I believed Rahab could not have married any man in Israel if she continued in her old identity as the harlot from Canaan but I believed that with her adopting God as her own, she readily took on a new identity that later on lead her to be grafted into the lineage of Christ.
Without a healthy identity based on the Word of God, we will not be successful in integrating into the Kingdom Culture.
To enter into her destiny...
3. Rahab must adopt The New Kingdom Culture
Hebrews 10:19-21 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house
There is a new way of living, a new culture that we must embrace totally and not partially.
What is Culture?
So what is the Kingdom Culture?
A Kingdom Culture is a culture where God's people treat each other like scripture says and work together in a way that expresses who Christ is.
Our culture indicates to us what we value in life. A person lives based on what they value and what they consider as important. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” What a person values or treasures sets the direction for his or her heart and life.
Hence, when we adopt the Kingdom Culture, it entails us valuing the things highly important to the Lord, such as how we treat God, how we treat people and how we live life.
When we fully embrace the Kingdom Culture, we can appropriately love our family in the Kingdom of God.
To enter into her destiny…