Chronicled in Joshua; referenced in Hebrews and James
Rahab…the prostitute…hmmm. I suppose you are wondering why I chose to include someone of the “harlot” variety in a devotional about joy and triumph. Well, I am no expert, but I am pretty certain that trials would accompany the life of a “hooker,” a life of societal rejection and isolation. If anyone in biblical times went through trial, the chief among them would have been a prostitute. Hers was undoubtedly a lonely existence, longing for the love that no “customer” could ever provide.
We do not know much about Rahab’s past. We must assume, however, that her life up to this point was not what she had hoped for. Most little girls dream of being young maidens or princesses in distress, only to be swept off their feet and whisked away to “happily ever after” by knights in shining armor. They don’t envision being meagerly paid for what their bodies can offer every man who comes to call, with no regard for their hearts. Indeed, Rahab’s hopes and dreams must have been crushed long before we meet her in Joshua 2.
I wonder what led Rahab down the road she chose. Did she feel cast aside by her family, unloved and unwanted? Did she long for affection and acceptance? Was she attempting to fill a huge hole in her heart in the arms of countless men? My guess is yes to most of, if not all of those questions. How is that this woman, an outcast, a “lady of the night,” could triumph through a life of miserable failure? One word: faith.
Rahab heard what the Lord had done for the Israelites and believed that He was the one true God. She then took another leap of faith—at the risk of great peril to herself—aiding two of those same Israelites by hiding them from her people (whose land Israel sought to possess). Rahab was then promised that she would be spared once the Israelites had taken over Jericho. Once again, she chose to believe and was, along with her entire family, saved as promised.
So, what does the story of Rahab tell us? Quite simply, Rahab’s life confirms that a broken vessel can still be used. Life had put many cracks in the vase. Faith glued it back together. Rahab was not perfect, but she knew what her heart told her was true and she acted on it. Rahab was blessed because she believed in what she had heard and not yet seen. What a novel concept, huh?
The example of Rahab should be an encouragement to us all. Never let the circumstances of your life determine the depth of your belief. Believe, even when victory seems impossible. God can take your “impossible” and turn it into a miracle. James said faith without works is dead and he used Rahab as an example to drive the point home. Hold fast to the arm of faith.
So, how can we triumph in the midst of trial? Believe, act, and be blessed.