Rahab: A prostitute, saved by grace, courageous, and faithful; Mother of Boaz
Lesson: Faith gives us the courage to do brave things in spite of our past
Scripture(s): Joshua 2-6, Matthew 1, Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25
Her Story – Summary:
Rahab, a prostitute and eventual mother to Boaz, was a woman knowledgeable of the power of God living in the city of Jericho, a city condemned by God. She trusted the stories she heard about Him, which fueled her courage, and that courage saved her and her family, as she placed her faith in an unseen God. Her actions would save her and her family from destruction.
Courage to do Brave Things
Rahab is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Each time she is mentioned, we are told of her profession. Rahab was a prostitute.
She is introduced to us in Joshua 2:1 as such and again in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25. It is clear we are to note this fact about Rahab, given the repetition of it in the Bible.
Rahab was living in the city of Jericho. A city condemned by God.
In the book of Joshua, we learn that Rahab lived in a house on the wall of Jericho, near the city gate. A perfect location for her profession. Jericho and all the inhabitants of the city were in danger. With their trust misplaced in idols and gods with no power, they fortified their walls and believed safety would be found inside.
Rahab was different. She had heard the stories of the Almighty God and how He brought devastation to the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea, and destroying mighty kings, but as she waited for God’s people to come, destroy, and claim Jericho, her fear was giving way to courage.
Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide and predecessor instructed two spies to enter Jericho with strength and courage (Joshua 1:18). God had promised to give them “every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses” (Joshua 1:3). Rahab was watching and ready to respond. Her response took courage and faith. Hiding the two spies so that no harm would come to them, she set in motion events that would end her profession as a prostitute and open the flood gates for God’s grace. Her actions would save her and her family from destruction.
Chapter 2 of Joshua reads like an action-packed movie script. Two men enter Rahab’s home in verse 1, and in no time (verse 2) the King of Jericho was informed. In verse 3, the King demands they be brought out, but Rehab doesn’t cave to fear, she redirects the King’s men while hiding the spies atop of her roof under stalks of flax (verses 4-7). In verses 8-10, we learn that Rehab is knowledgeable about the Lord; how he dried the water of the Red Sea and helped the Israelites destroy Amorite kings. Most important we find Rahab’s words to the spies proclaiming, “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (verse 10).
The remainder of the chapter details a conversation between Rahab and her hidden house guests that ensures the safety of Rehab and her family when the time of invasion comes.
Rahab, the prostitute, was a woman knowledgeable of the power of God. She trusted the stories she heard about Him. That trust fueled her courage, and that courage saved her and her family, as she placed her faith in an unseen God. Record of Rahab’s faith is found in Hebrews 11:31.
It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31 NLT
“It is the easiest thing in the world to believe as everybody else believes, but the difficulty is to believe a thing alone, when no one else thinks as you think; to be the solitary champion of a righteous cause when the enemy musterth his thousands to the battle. Now, this was the faith of Rahab.” – CH Spurgeon
Rahab joined the Israelites through marriage to Salmon, becoming a mother to Boaz. We read her name in the lineage out Christ detailed in Matthew 1.
Rahab was a woman, a wife, a mother, and yes, at one time, a prostitute. A sinner saved by grace, like you and me.
Study Questions/Journal Prompts
1: What did you learn about Rahab? What is unique to her story?
2: What lesson is God teaching you? What is His message through Rahab’s story?
3: How can you apply the lessons from her story to your life?
Jodie Barrett is a girl who loves Jesus and sharing His Word. She is passionate about helping other women discover the treasure of God’s word and encouraging them to move into a close relationship with Jesus. Jodie is the author of Jingle and Joy, Praying Beneath the Tree, and a ministry leader with Faithfully Following Ministries.
To connect with Jodie visit www.FaithfullyFollowingMinisries.org or on Facebook at @FaithfullyFollowingMinistries and Instagram at @faithful2follow