Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Rahab's Faith

A prostitute named Rahab is one of several people who are recognized for their faith and called a "great cloud of witnesses" in the book of Hebrews.

No effort is made to disassociate Rahab from her life as a prostitute. She is actually called "Rahab the harlot" right there and then, as she is being recognized for her faith along with all the others (Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Samson, David, etc).

Does this mean that she's being lauded for being a harlot? Of course not. But surely it means something to be purposely remembered as "Rahab the harlot" in a list of great witnesses to faith in God!

One thing that it means is that faith isn't for the "perfect." By no means does a person have to have it all together in order to have faith in God. Do you know what Rahab's great act of faith was that she was remembered for? Two spies from Israel came to her house and she hid them on the roof, and she lied to the men who came looking for them.

THAT is what Rahab did that showed her faith! And guess what? She revealed that the reason she did it was because, although she had never known God, she had heard of what He did with the parting of the Red Sea, and also how He had "utterly destroyed" two kings (Sihon and Og) and all their people. This caused her heart to melt and she knew then that "He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath." (Joshua 2:11)

And here we are, trying to get people to be "good." Haha! Nothing wrong with doing good things, of course. It's good to do good! But that's not where faith is found. It's found in recognizing that God is God in heaven and on earth, and believing Him!


  1. She had nothing to boast in but God...wow. Does that really work? I mean I am really devoted to God and what a jip if God isnt impressed or fooled by my strong willed love FOR Him...I mean God is so blessed to have a son like me! One who always does what He wants right?

  2. In Rahab's case it indeed wasn't about her devotion or love for God, or having always done right. She didn't even know Him, but she had heard about what He'd done and she believed then that "He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."

  3. Had Rahab omitted hanging the scarlet cord out her window, taking the spies instructions, just as on the night of the Exodus, where Moses told the people to place the blood on the doorpost as a token unto God, had Rahab omitted the scarlet cord, her house would have fallen, just as the firstborn in Egypt in those houses that didn't apply the blood. It wasn't her hospitality, nor her lies, nor her occupation that saved her. Leave out the token, she would have been dead with all the others of Jericho, God's first-fruits..

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  5. Indeed, that is the rest of the story, as told in the last half of Joshua 2. Her faith that she is remembered for in both Hebrews 11 and James 2 has to do with the first part of Joshua 2, when "she had received the spies with peace" and "sent them out another way."

  6. I have my take on this Q but would like to hear yours....God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud the new test says....so where does humility come from? Us? Is humility our new law to be under? Sounds a bit like earning grace from God?

  7. Just as faith isn't a work (since we are saved by grace, through faith apart from works, humility also isn't a work that we do to earn grace. Faith and humility are responses of individual people's hearts, when they realize that they are helpless apart from God. Rather than justifying themselves (self-justification) and boasting before God of how wonderful their works are, they are humble before Him and they give themselves over to His finished work. They believe Him rather than their own works. That's humility. That's faith.

  8. This post about Rahab gives one example of many examples of faith and humility. In this case, Rahab heard of the mighty things God had done for Israel. This humbled her and led her to believe that "He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."

    1. Thank you for responding. ..So humility is a gift of God not of ourselves. ..as is free will...and God's sovereignty. ..a gift not of ourselves. ...somewhere in between all this is the secret things that belong to God..what is greater than our heart or mind...on one hand Jesus says You didnt choose Me I chose you...yet on the other hand we arent robots that He programmed to love Him either....we choose.And in the middle is the secret place...the mysteries of Love....the leaning not on our own understanding. ...Humility is Jesus' Yoke He says for us to take upon ourselves. ..His attitude in His walk with the Father and us...and so so so much more is humility that Grace may ignite. ..I am learning and receiving. Thanks.....Law and Satan only try to make humility works so it may be stolen...works and grace dont mix...Thanks for your wisdom on this....

  9. Good post!! I love hearing about how God moves in our lives and recognizes people apart from their works.