S21P9 – Portraits of faith: Rahab

Josh. 2:12-13
Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.

We can read the account of Rahab and peg her simply as a prostitute who lied. Or we can recognize that her mention in the Hebrews “faith hall of fame” means that despite her flaws, she exercised great faith in God. She may have been living in an unholy manner when these two spies showed up at her door, but Rahab came to a critical realization when she harbored them at the cost of her own safety. She came to know and accept that there was a true God who was great and powerful and whose favor she desired.

The verses that precede the above verses are Rahab listing the reasons why she wanted protection for her family and an oath sworn to the God that these spies served. She had heard of the destruction brought by the Lord. She had seen the fear build up in the people who were outside his favor. She knew that the Lord had delivered the Israelites time and again and was handing this land over to them. In seeing his great power and protection of his people, Rahab knew that that the God of Israel was the real thing.

Rahab’s faith was not in men to keep an oath; it was in God to incline these men to do so. She trusted the spies to honor their oath because she trusted the God whom they served. Who else could have conjured up such fear in the powerful and mighty people of that place? Who else could have given Rahab the courage to defy that authority at the cost of her life? Father, remind us that You are the only one we fear, that human opposition and power do not compare to your might, and that we can rely on your deliverance as we honor You.