The Story of Rahab Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
The Story of Rahab
In the second chapter of Joshua, we are introduced to a woman by the name of Rahab.
Rahab lived in the city of Jericho; in fact, her house was built on the outer wall that surrounded the city for protection.
From her window overlooking the wall, she would be able to see the travelers who would come to her city before they even entered the gates.
If she eyed a handsome young man about to enter the city, she could capture his attention by leaning out her window and calling down to him, if she wanted.
Rahab could not have asked for a better place to live than right here on the outer wall of her city. And the reason for that was because Rahab was a prostitute.
She was a woman who would sell her body for the pleasure of men.
When men who had traveled from great distances would come to her walled city, all she would have to do to let them know that she was available, was to pretty herself up, lean out her window and call down to them.
How many hearts do you think she had broken?
How many homes do you think she had destroyed?
How many families had she torn apart?
How many marriages had she ruined?
And she did it all for the love of money.
It wasn’t like she was homeless or living in the streets that forced her into this lifestyle.
It wasn’t that she had no one to help or give her encouragement and support.
The Bible tells us that her mother, father, brothers and even her sisters lived right there in the same city.
And yet she traded loot for lust.
All through the Bible, whenever her name is mentioned, right next to it is the words, “The Prostitute”. Rahab, the Prostitute.
That is how she will forever be remembered.
She will forever be remembered for what she once was and probably not for what she became.
You see, one day her whole life changed.
She eventually met a man who loved her more for who she was than for what she did and he happened to be a prince.
In time they married and had a child together, the child’s name was Boaz. And like all love stories, as far as we know they did live happily ever after.
But let’s get back up to the beginning of the story. Back to the time, where Rahab first comes into the picture, during her days of harlotry; back to Joshua, chapter 2.
One night, she met two men who had come from a distant land; they came to her city to spy out the place.
These two men belonged to a larger group of people who were the grown children of former slaves.
They had just come from wandering in the desert for forty years because their fathers had refused to believe in the God that had freed them from slavery.
And while the rest of their people are waiting on the other side of the river, ready to come and conquer this land, which had been promised to them by God some 400 years earlier; these two men find themselves in the company of a lady of the night, named Rahab.
Rahab’s story really is quite unique, not simply because she was a prostitute, but because she was a prostitute that expressed her belief in God more than the people who claimed to have belonged to Him did.
Let’s read her story from Joshua, chapter 2. I will use the Living Bible Translation.
1 Then Joshua sent two spies from the Israeli camp at Acacia to cross the river and check out the situation on the other side, especially at Jericho. They arrived at an inn operated by a woman named Rahab, who was a prostitute. They were planning to spend the night there,
2 but someone informed the king of Jericho that two Israelis who were suspected of being spies had arrived in the city that evening.
3 He dispatched a police squadron to Rahab's home, demanding that she surrender them. "They are spies," he explained. "They have been sent by the Israeli leaders to discover the best way to attack us."
4 But she had hidden them, so she told the officer in charge, "The men were here earlier, but I didn't know they were spies.
5 They left the city at dusk as the city gates were about to close, and I don't know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them!"
6 But actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath piles of flax that were drying there.
7 So the constable and his men went all the way to the Jordan River looking for them; meanwhile, the city gates were kept shut.
8 Rahab went up to talk to the men before they retired for the night.
9 "I know perfectly well that your God is going to give my country to you," she told them. "We are all afraid of you; everyone is terrified if the word Israel is even mentioned.
10 For we have heard how the Lord made a path through the Red Sea for you when you left Egypt! And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, and how you ruined their land and completely destroyed their people.
11 No wonder we are afraid of you! No one has any fight left in him after hearing things like that, for your God is the supreme God of heaven, not just an ordinary god.
12,13 Now I beg for this one thing: Swear to me by the sacred name of your God that when Jericho is conquered you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families. This is only fair after the way I have helped you."
14 The men agreed. "If you won't betray us, we'll see to it that you and your family aren't harmed," they promised.