Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Courageous Prostitute (Joshua Study Post 6)

The Courageous Prostitute.

Read Joshua 2:1-13

Just to quickly recap where we are; Joshua has mourned the death of his mentor, Moses. He has been called, by God, to fill the shoes of leader to the Israelite people. He has summoned the people to begin to prepare to go into the land that God has promised them. He has told them they had 3 days to prepare. Joshua decides to send 2 spies into the city to scope out the area....

Now, that brings us to today's text. Today we meet a woman by the name of Rahab. I'm so encouraged by the things that we can learn from this woman that comes from the lineage of Christ! However, my heart is also convicted...Let's learn a little about this woman, Rahab.

In just the first verse of chapter 2 we learn 3 things about Rahab. 1) She is a prostitute 2) She lives in Jericho 3) The spies come to her house while on the job.
We have to picture the scene as these spies came upon the home of Rahab. From what we know about the life of prostitution, then and now, we can draw the conclusion that Rahab wasn't living in a little house with a white picket fence standing on the porch in her dress and an apron offering coffee and a, Rahab probably didn't have the cleanest living conditions. She was more likely dressed for a Saturday evening rendezvous. She was a prostitute. This was her way of life. She would have been rejected by her community. Used by men who sought her out for only one thing. I believe that we must truly understand her life, where she comes from, in order to learn the most from her.

Here is a woman who is obviously not living the life that God has set out for her. A woman that any of us would probably reject as a "servant of the Lord". A woman who most would probably say the Lord could not use. So, why do the spies choose to stop at her door? What makes her home more appealing than the one with the moral family living in it next door? What convinces Rahab to lie to her own people in order to protect these men who she does not know? The answer....Faith & Courage. Rahab had faith and acted on it with courage. She had heard what the Lord had done for the Israelites and believed. The she was given the opportunity and acted on that belief. Her actions could very well cost her her life. But she acted anyway.  How many times do we hear of things that the Lord has done yet refuse to believe...OR worse, we believe, but we refuse act on that belief.

Rahab goes on in verses 12 & 13 to make a deal with the spies. If she protects them, they must protect her and her family... and as a side note, these verses also present another piece of Rahab's life. She speaks of her "Father" and "Brothers". In those days if a woman was unwed she would continue to be provided for by her Father and if he was deceased her brothers would care for her. So why was Rahab a prostitute if her Father and Brothers were still living? The Word doesn't tell us, but we could draw the conclusion that she was not only rejected by society, but also abandoned by her family to a life of prostitution. To me, this makes her faith & Courage shine even brighter. Not only had she heard what the Lord had done, believed it & acted on it but she had trust in Him to do even more! She trusted in Him to protect her and her family.

Although Ms. Rahab had a lot of things going wrong in her life, we can see that she had a lot to teach us about faith & courage. Does this also teach us not to judge people so quickly by their outward appearance and actions or past actions? Maybe there is something we can learn from everyone that we come in contact with....After all, God made them too, right?


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