Risqué Woman Taking a Risk Part 2

Hebrews1131

God’s Hall of Fame

A lofty goal to find one’s name carved into a plaque there. Example after example of individuals who witnessed miracles performed by God simply because they chose to believe God could do whatever He said He could do.

And I read through the list of God’s Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 until I get almost to the end. Until I find the Israelites marching around Jericho and the walls crashing down because they had the faith to believe it would happen. Then in verse 32 I find reason to pause. Reason to re-read. Reason to ask, “What?!?!”

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 11:32

There at the end of the list of individuals in God’s Hall of Fame is Rahab–the prostitute.

It could be said that Rahab liked to live on the edge. She was a business owner who lived in between the inner and outer walls of Jericho. She ran a tavern where she made sure the men who visited left happy.

She was an intelligent woman. Like everyone else in Jericho, she knew that the Israelites served a God that had been doing amazing and powerful things. She knew who the spies were when they entered her establishment. She made a decision for herself and her family right then and there.

Rahab’s occupation seems like a risk to most of us. However, the decision she made becomes a life or death risk.

Rahab decides to hide the two spies and put her entire city at risk. She allows them to stay overnight and hides them under sheaves on the roof. When the king’s men come to get the spies, Rahab tell them that they had been there earlier, but she didn’t know where they were from and they had left town at dusk. She told them if they hurried they should be able to catch up with them.

Rahab risked her life and her whole family’s life to hide two spies that were planning to destroy everyone and everything in Jericho. Once the king’s men left, Rahab went to talk to the two spies.

She told them what she knew of their God, what they had done to towns they had already passed through, and kings and kingdoms they had already destroyed. She acknowledged that their God was the supreme God.

Once she has confessed what she knows, she asks them to promise to save her life and the lives of her family since she has helped them. The two spies agree as long as she doesn’t betray them.

Rahab then uses a rope to lower them down through a window. She tells them where to go to hide and how long to wait before they go back to their camp. Before the spies head out, they tell her to hang a scarlet rope from the same window to serve as a sign to all Israelites that whoever is within that home shall be saved from destruction as long as she doesn’t betray them.

Now Rahab has risked her life by lying to the King’s men and by making a deal with the enemy. Either way, she and her entire family could be put to death.

However, she accepts the terms of the spies and sends them on their way.

What’s the last risk you took? Did anyone’s life hang in the balance? Rahab saved the lives of a few in exchange for the rest of a city. She goes from a hooker to a hero in one decision.

Rahab become a link in the lineage of Jesus.

And we get so hung up on our past, on our sins, on our weaknesses, on our failures that we think God wouldn’t want to use us? He used a prostitute to give the Israelites the Promised Land. His own Son was born of a virgin who was related to that same prostitute. If Jesus were a politician instead of a Savior, the press would have a field day with this tidbit.

However, Jesus wasn’t a politician. He didn’t come to save a bunch of holier-than-thou, perfect people. He came to save a prostitute. A fraud. A thief. A liar. A gossiper. An angry, bitter, woman. A drug addict. An alcoholic. A glutton. The lost. The broken. The weary and the weak. He didn’t come to make Himself look “good” or become popular.

So why are we so worried about what others think? Why are we more impressed by Rahab’s status as a prostitute than her status as one of God’s faithful servants? Isn’t the label God gave her more important than the one the world gave her?

Take a risk, friend. God’s not in the safety zone. He’s out in the middle of the mess. He’s out among the risqué, the shady, the dirty, the disarrayed. Go ahead. Test the waters. He’ll catch you when you fall.

You can read Part 1 Here!

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