One of the greatest biblical heroes of faith is a woman whom Scripture constantly names “the prostitute” (Joshua 2:1, 6:17,22,25; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). Though a woman of notorious disrepute in Jericho, Rahab became a recipient of the saving grace and mercy of God, and so served the purposes of God in delivering His spies and her own family. What was it that made the unlikely and unexpected difference in this woman’s life, enabling her to align herself with the people of God? In short, it was the message of God’s deliverance of His people from the bondage they experienced in Egypt.
The close connection between the exodus and the conquest provides the platform for understanding what God was doing in the life of Rahab, the prostitute. When the spies first entered the promised land, Rahab hid them from the king of Jericho. While hiding them, she said:
“I know that the LORD has given you this land… For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below” (Joshua 2:9–11).
James tells us that Rahab acted in faith in receiving, hiding, and sending the spies out another way (James 2:25). She heard about the God of Israel and believed that He was the God of saving deliverance. She trusted that He would give His people an inheritance in Canaan. In turn, God spared Rahab and her household.
One of the marvelous truths in redemptive history is that Rahab became the great-great-grandmother of King David—the covenantal progenitor of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5–6). Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, who came into the world to secure the promises of God given to Abraham and to confer upon His people the everlasting inheritance (Luke 22:29), redeemed a broken woman like Rahab. Who among us can doubt the greatness of the mercy and grace of God in Christ! Truly we can conclude that where our sin increases, His grace is multiplied even more (Romans 5:21).
Written by Nick Batzig