Rahab is known as a prostitute and innkeeper, who lived in Jericho (approximately 1400 years. B.C.). Jericho was the first City to be given to the Israelites under the Command of Joshua in the Promised Land after wandering through the wilderness for 40 years.
Joshua sent 2 spies to examine the situation at The City of Jericho. God directed them to Rahab's Inn for He knew her heart was receptive and open towards Him and that she would be used of Him as an instrument in helping to serve Israel.
Rahab's Inn was an excellent location for a quick escape, for it was built into the city wall near the city gates, and a normal place for strangers to spend the night.
The 2 spies were planning to spend the night in Jericho, but the King was informed of the strangers and the guards were sent to the Inn belonging to Rahab, demanding that the strangers be surrendered to them, for the King now knew that they were Israelites.
She wanted to help the spies for they were servants of The Lord God Almighty.
Fortunately she quickly took them to the roof, and was able to hide them under drying flax. She told the guards that men had been there but had already left through the city gates. She had great courage, for the guards did not detect any agitation, she remained calm and they believed her.
Flax was harvested in the fields outside the City and piled up high on the roof tops of houses inside the City to dry in the sun. clumps of flax made an ideal hiding place in the emergency that came upon them at that time.
After the guards fled on a false trail given them by Rahab, she told the spies of the demoralization of the Canaanites who were very afraid of The God of Israel. This was very good news for the spies to report back to Joshua.
Rahab's belief and trust in The True Supreme God of Heaven and earth was a saving faith which is different from the people of the City of Jericho fearing the strength of God and the fighting men of Israel.
Rahab's cunning saved the lives of the two Israelite spies, but she also put her own life in jeopardy. In wartime deceiving the enemy is accepted, although she knew she would be tried and killed for treason by The King of The City if the spies were caught in her Inn and her lie was exposed, that she had been indeed harbouring them.
In a moment of pressure she had to make a choice. Fortunately, God does not demand that our judgements are perfect in all situations, but to put our trust in Him. Rahab did that and for that she is commended. She did not let her natural fear affect her belief of God's ability to deliver her.
She had heard of the mighty deeds of God and was willing to abandon the Canaanite City and it's way of worship, and take with her all of her family, mother, father, brothers and sisters, and relatives.
She wanted to give up the pagan worship for the True Supreme God. She had confessed the Truth about the Lord's triumph over powerful enemies for the sake of the nation of Israel. She freely offered news that the 2 spies could report back to Joshua.
Rahab had acted towards the spies sent from Joshua as though she herself was an Israelite, and she asked that Israel treat her as such by saving her and her family from the destruction coming upon the city of Jericho under the hand of Almighty God and the fighting men of Israel. The spies pledged to honour her request.
Because Rahab's house was built in the city wall, she let the spies down out of her window by a dyed red rope,during the night. The spies told her to leave that scarlet cord in the window, so the Israelite army could identify it and keep those of that household safe. The two men took it upon themselves for the responsibility of their safety. Because flax was on her roof and her having scarlet cord, indicates that she also manufacted linen and dyed it.
The red cord was a red marker similar to the blood of the Passover Lamb the night the Israelites left the bondage of Egypt and The Body of Christ symbolized the cord as a sign of atonement because of Christ's death. Only Rahab and all who were in the house were spared of their life in that city, because she had saved the lives of the Israelite spies.
Rahab, was a heathen, a Canaanite, who risked everything she had, including her life for God, of whom she had only just heard about by wandering travelers, but she believed in Him and the Truth about Him. She apparently indulged in favours to travelers at her Inn, for she lived apart from her family, although she never lost concern for them.
She had been singled out by God to be brought out from amongst the idolatry for she had recognized what many of the Israelites had not yet discovered, that God is not just an ordinary national god like other nations around her worshipped, but believed He was The Most Powerful, The Sovereign God of Heaven and earth, and her life was transformed by Him.
After hiding in the hills where Rahab told them it would be safe for three days, the spies were able to take information back to Joshua, how that the stories of God's miracles about leading the Israelites through the Red Sea, helping His people win all their battles, while being in the wilderness, and His hand upon them, that they were under the protection of an awesome God, had circulated throughout the City and terrified those living there.
As promised, Rahab and all her family members were protected from the battle. She just did not care for her own self but also the safety of others; her action proved her deep concern for all her family. Arrangements were made for them to live outside the Israelite's camp, and they continued to live amongst the Israelites.
Divine grace had saved her and her relatives. She had chosen to help those whose God was The Creator of All Things. She turned her back on her old sinful life and allowed God to work in her.
Rahab married one of the spies whose life she saved, who was from The House of Judah. She married into one of the noblest families in Israel's ancestry. Her great Grandson, was King David. Rahab is mentioned in the human lineage of Christ.
Even though Rahab lied to save the Israelite spies, her faith in God is what blessed her, for although God does not excuse lies, in war-time is necessary to deceive the enemy. She was not the one who benefited for the lie to the guards, her confession of faith in The Supreme God Almighty is what blessed her.
In The New Testament of The Bible, her name is ranked along side Old Testament forefathers of Israel like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and her great grandson, David.
God works through ordinary people just like Rahab, today.
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