The Story of Rahab Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
15 "We'll defend you with our lives." Then, since her house was on top of the city wall, she let them down by a rope from a window.
16 "Escape to the mountains," she told them. "Hide there for three days until the men who are searching for you have returned; then go on your way."
17,18 But before they left, the men had said to her, "We cannot be responsible for what happens to you unless this rope is hanging from this window and unless all your relatives--your father, mother, brothers, and anyone else--are here inside the house.
19 If they go out into the street, we assume no responsibility whatsoever; but we swear that no one inside this house will be killed or injured.
20 However, if you betray us, then this oath will no longer bind us in any way."
21 "I accept your terms," she replied. And she left the scarlet rope hanging from the window.
22 The spies went up into the mountains and stayed there three days until the men who were chasing them had returned to the city after searching everywhere along the road without success.
23 Then the two spies came down from the mountains and crossed the river and reported to Joshua all that had happened to them.
24 "The Lord will certainly give us the entire land," they said, "for all the people over there are scared to death of us."
In verse 9, she tells them that everyone in the city is frightened about the presence of the Israelites, who are on the other side of the Jordan River.
Notice, that she does not say that it was their large numbers or fierce fighting men that had instilled this fear into the hearts of her people.
She and her people are frightened, because of some events that had transpired some 40 years earlier. Specifically, the crossing of the red Sea, and the defeat of the kings of Sihon and Og.
Now, Rahab did not experience any of those events directly. She did not see them with her own eyes.
Personally, she knows nothing about God. She has no idea of any of His teachings.
She does not know what is required of her to be forgiven of her sins, for God has not revealed to her what kind of animal she is to sacrifice as a sin offering.
All she has to go by is what she has heard about this awesome God and that was enough for her to be willing to put her life on the line.
And so, she gets the two men, who have come to spy out the land, to promise her that they would spare her life and that of her family in exchange for keeping their presence and their plans a secret.
The men agree, but there are two conditions. First, she must keep a red cord hanging out her window on the city wall.
And secondly, she must have her father, her mother, her sisters, her brothers and all their families in her house when the conquest takes place.
If any of them were out in the open when the battle starts the deal would be off and their blood would be upon their own heads.
Can you imagine the difficulty Rahab must have had in convincing her family to come and live in her home?
For all we know, they could have been fine, respectable citizens of that city and to have to stay in a house that was known as a place of passion; what would the neighbors be thinking now.
For those of you who have tried to share your faith with family and friends, you know first hand how difficult that can be.
But Rahab stands as an example, that it can be done, so don’t give up.
Well, the men use the red cord, which is hanging out her window, to escape into the night.
Notice that they did not give her any deadline. They did not tell her when the battle would begin or even when they would return.
All they gave her was their word, and that was enough for her. And because of that, God regards Rahab as one of the great women of faith.
In fact, Rahab is the only woman mentioned by name in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, where we have the roll call of God’s faithful.
Hebrews 11:31 says, “By faith--because she believed in God and his power--Rahab the harlot did not die with all the others in her city when they refused to obey God, for she gave a friendly welcome to the spies.”
Also in the book of James, her faith is compared to that of Abraham, whom the Bible calls, the father of the faithful.
In James 2:23-25, we read, “And so it happened just as the Scriptures say, that Abraham trusted God, and the Lord declared him good in God's sight, and he was even called "the friend of God." Abraham’s great faith in God was evidenced by his willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Rahab, the prostitute, is another example of faith that is demonstrated by actions. She was saved because of her faith, for her faith came before what she did when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.”
In Hebrews 11:39, the Bible tells us that she was commended for her faith and in the passage in James that we just read he tells us that she was considered just as righteous as Abraham was, for two things that she did.
First, for taking in the spies.
Second, for sending the posse off in a different direction.
Remember, that the men of the city had come to her by order of the king of the city of Jericho. And they commanded her to give up the spies that they knew had come into her home.
Did she tell them the truth as to their whereabouts? No! In fact, she lied and sent them off in the wrong direction.
And it was for that lie and her actions that accompanied it that put her right up there with the faithful and the righteous, in God’s sight.
James says she was considered righteous for lying.
There is only one other example in the Bible where a person is commended for lying.
In Exodus chapter 1, the king of Egypt has given a command to the Hebrew Midwives to kill all the newborn Hebrew male children.