By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
Rahab lived in Jericho. She hid enemy spies because she wanted to be rescued. She asked only that they would save her and her family. She believed Jericho could not stand against their God. She knew He was greater than everything else she had relied on. How did she know that? Maybe she'd heard the stories of Him. Travelers often visited her. Maybe some of them had first hand accounts. Whatever led her to this knowledge was strong enough that she acted on it courageously.
What do we know about Rahab?
She had a home that connected to the wall around Jericho. She had a mother, father, and brothers. She was a prostitute. We don't know her age. We don't know what she looked like. We don't know how she found herself there. We don't know what her family and neighbors thought of her or even what she thought of herself. What we do know is that when she heard of the God of Israel she believed. And she trusted. Where her great faith came from we are not told. But she is listed with the Patriarchs of the Faith in Hebrews 11 because of it. She and Sarah, Abraham's wife, are the only women mentioned there. Sarah we can understand. But Rahab is a surprise, a valiant slap in the face of condemnation. Rahab is unexpected.
Sometimes people compassionately call her an Innkeeper, which ruins the story entirely. This is a story of grace.
Joshua 2: 1-4
And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.
I wonder if God told her the men were coming and where to hide them or if they told her who they were and she decided in that moment to help them. I like to think she was prepared. She set the flax out to dry on the roof because she sensed something was coming. She was waiting.
What became of Rahab after that?
...and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
Rahab saved all of Israel with her kindness and then became the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz, Boaz who rescued Ruth who protected Naomi. Rahab joined the house of Israel. Rahab was of the bloodline of the Messiah.
Did she ever dream her name would be remembered like this? What do you dream?