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Rahab the Prostitute

Rahab 2READ JOSHUA CHAPTER 2:1-24

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.” – Joshua 2:1

Many people will be surprised to discover that Jesus was not only a physical descendant of King David, but also of Rahab the ex-prostitute of Jericho. Keep in mind, however, that Rahab was a harlot who changed her ways and came before the living God in repentance.

Rahab was a Canaanite woman who ran an “Inn” in Jericho. It was actually a house of prostitution where men could spend the night with the woman of their choice. Murray Johnson writes: “It is very important that we understand what the text really says about Rahab. It says Rahab was a harlot. What better place for the spies to hide out than at Rahab’s house? With all the comings and goings of a whorehouse, they could blend in easily. However, these men were on a righteous mission. “

Rahab was a prostitute herself.

As a Canaanite, she was also a worshipper of a great number of deities of the Canaanite religion, including Baal (god of fertility), Dagon (god of the crops) and Molech (god of fire). When Joshua sent two of his men to Jericho to spy out the city for destruction, they came to Rahab’s place. When the king of Jericho heard about their visit, he sent his soldiers to kill them. Rahab took sides – not with her own people – but with the children of Israel. She protected the two spies at great peril to her life, and hid them on her roof for three days. She also lied to the king’s soldiers and sent them on a wild goose chase, because she told them that the spies had already left out of the city gate.

After the soldiers departed and the coast was clear, she went up to the roof and made them promise to protect her and her father, mother, brothers and sisters. The two spies agreed to protect her and her family when Joshua and his army returned to destroy the city.

Rahabs confession of faith.

She declared, “…for the Lord (Yahovah) your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.  Joshua 2:11. Rahab’s faith in the eternal God of Israel was greater than her fear. By embracing Yahovah God – the only true, living God, she was renouncing all pagan gods that she had previously worshipped. The moment she made the confession of faith, “…for the LORD [Yahovah] your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below,” Rahab was saved from her sins, spiritually born-again, and immediately accepted into God’s family. It did not matter that she was formerly a prostitute or an idol worshipper, God is no respecter of persons; whoever will come to Him in repentance and faith will be accepted by Him. Rahab is a prime example of how God loves to take the worst of sinners and turn them into saints. His arms are always open to anyone who “feareth Him and worketh righteousness” (Acts 10:34-35).

Rahab, the prostitute, was transformed into a new creature in Messiah.

Her faith was backed up by the evidence of good works when she risked her life to save the two spies. She is praised twice in the New Testament. The apostle James describes her justification by her good works:

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by [good] works, when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way? (James 2:25)

Working together, Rahab’s faith and actions were approved by God who forgave her of her immoral past and justified her (acquitted her of guilt) in His sight. The writer of Hebrews also praises Rahab in Hebrews 11:31. She perished not with the rest of her city when the walls of Jericho fell down and Joshua’s men killed all who lived there. Rahab’s faith and the scarlet thread she let hang down from her window (which was a type of the blood of Jesus Christ) looked forward to the time the Messiah would come.

It paralleled the Passover lamb. Just as the blood of the lamb was put on the houses of the Israelites in order to protect them from the judgment of God, so the scarlet cord hanging from Rahab’s house brought safety and deliverance for her and her family.

Rahab marries a Jew.

After converting to Judaism, Rahab became a righteous woman. She joined herself to the people of God – the children of Israel. She left her sordid past behind, continued to travel with the Israelites, and eventually married a Jewish man named Salmon of the tribe of Judah. Their marriage gave birth to Boaz who married Ruth, who birthed Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David. What an amazing testimony of how God can re-write your life! He transformed a former prostitute into the ancestral grandmother of Israel’s greatest king : David, the man after God’s own heart. In Matthew’s geneology, even our Lord Jesus Christ was an ancestor of Salmon and Rahab (Matthew 1:1,5).

Whosoever calls on the Lord shall be saved.

If you’ve been struggling with a life of sin, or you’ve done something in your past that is so bad you’ve never told anyone; perhaps you’ve wondered if God could ever forgive you, remember what He accomplished in the life of Rahab the ex-prostitute and idol worshipper from Jericho. There is no sin too big for God – He will forgive you if you sincerely repent and call upon His name in faith. There is always hope and forgiveness in Christ Jesus:

”And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:21

“Whoever” means you! There is no sin so grievous that Jesus The Messiah cannot forgive. He died on the cross and shed His blood to forgive all types of sins – small sins. as well as big sins. Call upon Jesus today and be forgiven and saved from your old life. From this day forward, He will give you a new life and transform you into the man or woman God created you to be.

Pray this prayer right now:

Dear Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins. I repent of my past life. Please forgive me. I promise to live for you from this day forward. I receive you today as my Savior and Lord of my life. Amen.

If you just prayed this prayer,  contact us and let us rejoice with you. We’ll also send you a free Bible and other literature to help you grow in your new life in Messiah.

– Luis Josephus

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