Her name was ‘broad’ . A perfect and accurate description of what her occupation made her into. She became broad. A sexual highway. Wide was her road which men trooped in and out of. She had now become public property in all the land of Jericho. Little did she know that she had been set apart for God’s purpose; the perfect tool for this life-changing job.
She took a big risk, detrimental to the King’s trust in her, detrimental to her survival in Jericho, but she didn’t care. Maybe subconsciously she knew, she knew that helping the spies was her ticket into freedom, into salvation, into the transformation of life God had planned for her. So she disobeyed earthly authority by obeying a higher calling, to fulfil what God had pre-destined for her.
She knew about God, she knew about what he was able to do and the power he possessed. They had heard news about how God had saved the Israelites and other things God had done. She knew and understood the sovereignty of God. And because of this, she hid the spies from the King, and made them promise to come back for her and save her from the destruction of Jericho.
But she knew nothing of the men that came to spy on the land of Jericho. All she knew was that the Lord had sent them to take over the land of Jericho, and because of that she trusted them to keep their word!
Her faith took her away from her old life and the destruction of Jericho and brought her into a new life, throwing her into the Genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of God and saviour of the world! What a tapestry God had been preparing for her!
And so she operated under the grace of God. Her heart had already become a fertile ground for the transformation she was about to receive from God. And through that grace, her former life of shame was erased!
Faith defined in practical terms is action plus belief, rightly depicted in this story of Rahab, it’s no wonder she’s mentioned as a woman of faith in Hebrews.
“Rahab, the prostitute, had faith. So she welcomed the spies. That’s why she wasn’t killed with those who didn’t obey God.” – Hebrews 11:31 NIRV
When we read about Rahab, all we ever think about is ‘Rahab the prostitute’, and in a very odd way, I liken her life to mine, maybe not in the terms of what she ‘was’, her prostitution, her occupation but the way her heart was.
Rahab is Me before Christ. I’m pretty sure she must have gone through that mental conflict of knowing what was right, knowing where the light was, and choosing to remain in the darkness. At some point it just seemed clear she just didn’t want the life of prostitution anymore. Without misquoting, not referring to the prostitution aspect, but the conflict of hearts aspect. She was caught in the ‘thirst trap’ (message by Steven Furtick, you guys should check it out!), looking for earthly pleasures, temporary satisfaction, to fill what could be only filled by God. But there’s only so much earthly satisfaction can fill in your life. It never takes the void or gap away, because the only person that can seal it is God, the only thing that can fill it are the things of God.
Sometimes we are like the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, we keep going back to that well, that water to fill our thirst. Even sometimes when we know we should stop, when we know it’s not mentally or psychologically healthy for us, we just keep hearing back. Sometimes it’s not even about not knowing how to stop, but it’s about not knowing how to trust God enough to stop.
I’m a control centered person, I like being in control of my mind, of time and of the littlest things around me. I love controlling situations around me, and sometimes that’s a good thing. But not when God has these glorious plans for your life, and you have a separate blueprint of where and how you want your life to turn out. And I think that was one of the things I really struggled with when I found a personal relationship with God. I had trust issues, and sometimes I still have trust issues. I couldn’t fathom not being in control of certain situations, I couldn’t fathom me not being in control of my tongue whenever I spoke in tongues. But ‘Let it go‘ he said, let that control issue go. Let go of that thirst for control. Let go of those trust issues. And because of that sufficient grace He’s made available for me, I’ve been able to let it go and just give it to God. It’s difficult because we’re humans, but not impossible because we operate in the spirit as Christians.
But thirst for control was not all. There’s that need for approval, need for approval of Godly works by earthly authorities, by peers, by human beings. And for Rahab, it was prostitution. Maybe she was seeking affection in the wrong places. Maybe she was seeking any form of companionship. Or maybe she was just thrown into the profession by circumstances. Whichever the case, she could not let go of the profession, till that distinct call from God. And God singled her out, amidst her people!Regardless of her immoral profession or the land she emerged from, God accepted her, and used her, ‘the foolish of the world’, to confound the wise of the world- who would have expected a common place prostitution to be the vessel God would use to protect his two spies?
And her salvation was tied to the salvation of her family members, because through her, their lives were saved, something they might not have even expected!
Each day it amazes me, how much of a forgiving God He is, forgiving us even more than we sin, and using even the most unexpected people for great wonders.
So yes, her name means broad or ‘spaciousness’. But it also meant rebellion, it also meant insolence and fierceness. Rebellion and insolence against earthly authority to do the things of God (but not negative obvious rebellion), and risk it all for God!
And on a final note:
P.S: I am officially announcing the launch of my Spiritual Vlog series starting from the second week in June (or whenever my exams finish) God willing!