Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 24:1-25:17 / Hebrews 11:17-40 / Psalm 124:1-8
John Bunyan was a foul-mouthed and poorly educated English young person. He was miraculously saved and became a preacher. While jailed for his preaching, he wrote one of the greatest bestsellers, Pilgrim’s Progress. John Newton was a slave trafficker and lived a wicked lifestyle but when Christ saved him, he penned his testimony and we still sing of it today - Amazing Grace.
We find a person here in Hebrews 11 who had a checkered lifestyle and was an unlikely candidate to be considered a Hero of Faith. But it was her faith that set her apart, “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” (Hebrews 11:31)
Rahab had a reputation amongst the pagan and Idolatrous Canaanites as a prostitute but her reputation changed dramatically because of her faith in God. Two Israelite men were sent into the Canaan to spy out the Promised Land. They went into the town of Jericho and eventually found shelter in the home of Rahab. She not only welcomed them, she hid them and protected them from the Kings men who were sent to kill them.
Rahab defied the King’s order and faced immediate danger because she had faith in the God of the Israelites. She heard how God provided, protected and empowered His people. As she lowered the spies to safety outside the city wall, she hung a scarlet cord outside that same window believing God would give Israel the city and that her life would be spared. Rahab grasped the unseen and put her faith into action.
She hung that scarlet cord with the same expectation as the Israelites did when they placed the lamb’s blood on their doorposts while in Egypt. The death angel passed over the bloodstained doorposts and the army of Israel passed by the house with the scarlet cord. Rahab’s faith resulted in her own and her pagan families salvation.
God brought her from the “guttermost” and lifted her to the “uttermost”. Rahab’s faith brought her into alignment with the plan of God. Rahab not only became part of the Israelite community, she was brought into the divine covenant of God. Rahab gave birth to Boaz, who fathered Obed, who fathered Jesse, who had a son named David. She became part of the ancestry line of The Messiah!
Rahab was a woman who, because of her faith, was not only pardoned but was raised to a position of honor. She had very little spiritual knowledge about God but she acted on what she believed. Rahab rose to be one of the great women of faith in the Bible. Her past life did not disqualify her from redemption. Great things are not done by a display of great power but by great faith. It matters not about our status, lineage or influence…faith is not a respecter of persons.