“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7
These were God’s words to Joshua when he was placed in the leadership position over the children of Israel after the death of Moses.
“Be strong and very courageous.”
As Joshua prepared to lead the Israelites into the promised land, he sent out two spies to check out the land of Jericho and get a lay of the land before the whole company entered.
The king of Jericho discovered that Israelite spies had entered his land and that they had sought refuge and safety it in the home of a prostitute.
Her name alone conjures up an image of a scarlet woman, a painted lady who exchanged sexual favors for money. In addition to being a prostitute, she was a pagan in a pagan land.
The king of Jericho sent a 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.” Joshua 2:3
But Rahab hid and protected the Israelite spies and said to the king, “Yes, the men came to me, but I didn’t 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.” Joshua 2:4-5
She was strong and courageous in the face of certain death if it was discovered she had lied and had given aid and comfort to the enemy.
After the soldiers left in search of the spies, Rahab went to the Israelites she had sheltered and said, “…the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:11.
The pagan harlot recognized the One True God. She then said to the spies, “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you.” Joshua 2:12.
Because of Rahab the spies were saved. Because the spies were saved, Rahab and her family were saved. They were taken into the Israelite camp where a man named Salmon of the tribe of Judah fell in love with her. Together they had a son named Boaz who met and married a widow named Ruth (yes, the same Ruth of the Book of Ruth). While Ruth had a mother-in-law named Naomi, she also had a mother-in-law named Rahab.
Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed who had a son named Jesse who had a son named David, the shepherd boy who would become king.
In Matthew 1:5, we find Rahab in the genealogy of Jesus. Yes. the damaged woman, the prostitute, the hooker, the whore is in the human genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Rahab is also listed in the Great Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11, It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. Hebrews 11:31
My whole point of sharing this story is to clearly show you that regardless of the sins that you have committed in your life, regardless of your reputation or what others may think of you, no matter how damaged, unlovable, or irredeemable you may think you are, God still loves you and will use you for His glory if you will only give your life over to Him.
He will wash you clean and all the sins of your past life will be gone. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us.” Psalm 103:12. Not only does He remove them from us, He wipes them from His own memory, “I, even I, am He, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25
Take inspiration from the story of Rahab. Be strong and courageous. Don’t worry about what the world may think of you. If you put your trust in Jesus Christ, repent from your sins and determine your life to be one of faith, there is no limit to what may lie ahead for you.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
May you be richly blessed today, my friends, and if I don’t meet you again here, I hope to meet you over there!