Hebrews 11, the enviable “Hall of Faith” in the New Testament is chalk-full of formidable giants of the Bible. Abel, Moses, Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Rahab, Jacob, Gideon, Samson, Sarah, David, Joseph, Barak, Jephthah, Samuel - the list is impressive to say the least. Most are well-known heroes of old who’s stories echo on the pages of history even to this day. All gifted by Yahweh to save His people, propel His Name, and glorify Him to the ends of the earth. All genetically part of His chosen people.
Take a look back at that list again. Who stands out- glaring in red letters across the page amongst her fellow hero’s of faith? You may note that there’s only 2 women mentioned at all- one the mother of the chosen people of God, the other a prostitute from a pagan city.
Striking is it not?
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen....
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.”
Hebrews 11:1, 31 ESV
The natural question begs to be asked. What on earth is Rahab, an unmarried whore from a city-nation at war with the Israelites, doing smack-dab in the middle of the hall of faith? She wasn’t a Jew, she wasn’t a worshipper of Jehovah, she was a woman, a prostitute, an outcast. A seemingly strange choice to be added by the author of Hebrews to say the least.
I would bet there’s no few sisters out there, who, like me, sometimes feel like the outcast. We feel caught in the middle of some great war, surrounded by spies and enemies, morally broken, socially disabled, or spiritually dry. We see and hear of the Enemy coming for our families, our jobs, spouses, health, friends, our very lives- and we fear greatly the wrath and destruction upon our doorstep.
And yet, like Rahab, like all the great heroes of faith- we also feel the pull of God’s divine hand on our lives. So we take in the spies, we protect the needy, we help save God’s chosen people, we push past what the authorities in our lives say is right and proper- and we do the right thing. We obey. Plain and simple. We do the God-thing. We seek the face of Him who’s Hand guides our lives- despite our name, our culture, our past, or our present. Like Rahab we see past our circumstances and seek a better life. A life full to the brim with Yahweh at the head. We seek adoption into a different nation, a royal priesthood, and a cherished royalty.
Rahab had guts. She had foresight. She had unwavering faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob without even knowing Him personally. She was obedient to the instruction He placed on her going off of rumor-only. Her faith was put in the hope of things and situations she had only heard about. This woman protected God’s people, then when the time came, she put out her scarlet thread for all to see- and awaited her fate... wholly in God’s hands.
Today sisters, regardless of what situation you find yourself in, take heart from our Joshua outcast. If you find yourself staring down an army of the Enemy surrounding your home, a social outcast, morally struggling, or spiritually lost please know that God still has a hand of purpose on your life. If He chose a woman such as Rahab to fulfill His plans and protect His people, how much more will He have for you!
Obey the calling He has for you. Protect and serve His servants- in whatever way that looks in your life. And then throw your scarlet cord out the window dear one. Fall on the mercy of almighty Jehovah for safety and salvation.
“But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, ‘Go into the prostitute's house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.’ So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. But Rahab the prostitute and her father's household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” Joshua 6:22-25 ESV
God did not forget Rahab and He will not forget you!
Or perhaps you are in a blissful season of rest and quiet. I encourage you to look back at the annuals of your walk with the Father and note all the scarlet cords hanging down. All the times and instances you placed your faith in Him and stepped out with foresight to come alongside what God was doing. Scared but hopeful, resigned but also resolved to follow Him. These scarlet cords are worth noticing, they weave a tapestry of faith that intertwines with the greatest of the Bible- just as Rahab‘s did.
To end, let me have you look at another list of names, take a quick peek at Matthew 1 and the geneology of Jesus…
“The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.”
Matthew 1:1-6 NIV
It would seem our harlot, through her obedience and faith was only the great-great grandmother of King David, but got pulled into the line of Christ Himself! Nothing and nobody is impossible for God!