Welcome back to the Woman to Woman series. So far we have looked at Abigail and now we are making our way through the women of Matthew 1. This week we are looking at the second woman in Matthew 1, Rahab, who unlike Tamar she was actually a prostitute.
Her story begins in the book of Joshua. Joshua sent two men secretly to go and view the land, especially Jericho. When they got to the city they came to the house of Rahab and they lodged with her. The King of Jericho came to her house and told Rahab to bring the men out who had entered her home. Rahab told the king that the men were there but they had left and that if he hurried, he would find them and over take them.
After the king and his men left Rahab who was hiding the men says,
“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt”. Joshua 2:9
Rahab knew this God they served. She acknowledged what He could do and that He was the one true God. That was a statement of her faith in God. I love her boldness in what she says next. She says, “Because I have dealt kindly with you, please deal kindly with me”. She then goes on to ask that they would save her family. They make an oath with her and tell her that when they come back to the land, no harm will come to her or her family as long as they do not leave her house.
In order to leave without being caught, the men lower themselves with a rope through the window. Not just any rope, a red rope or a scarlet cord. It was a symbol of her lifestyle, a glaring reflection of her sin for all to see. Ever heard of the red-light-district? It has the same meaning. With the cord that showed her sin, she saved the men of God.
Before they left the men told her to gather her family into her house and when they came into the land to hang the scarlet cord in her window. In a class I took at Portland Bible College, my professor mentioned that she had to go and get her family. He pointed out that they most likely did not associate with her. Still, she cared so much for them she risked her life to save them.
The cord and her faith in whom God would save not only her, but her whole family. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the cord that saved her is the same color as the blood that saves us.
Rahab was a Gentile and a prostitute but she was credited for her faith.
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31
Besides being an example of what it means to have faith, Rahab is also the perfect example of God’s love being big enough to forgive our sin no matter what it is. It is my hope that you too will have the faith of Rahab and that you will always remember that God is so much bigger than the mistakes you may have made. When we leave our past in the past and put our faith in God we will find forgiveness and a new beginning.
Rahab would in time marry Solomon. They had a son named Boaz. Boaz would become the kinsman redeemer in the life of the woman we will look at next week. Her name is Ruth. To read Rahab’s whole story read Joshua 2
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