“Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”
Rahab was an intelligent woman who understood why these men were in her city and what that meant for her people. She had received a message from the king requesting she give up those she harbored, but she led the king astray. She saved those men and then proceeded to tell them why. She and the people of Jericho had heard of what their God had done, and the people were fearful. She knew that these men served the one true God. Some might take her actions as those of a woman simply trying to save herself, but this passage tells us otherwise. Rahab did this to save others as well. When presented with an opportunity to gain God’s favor to help herself and her family, she took it.
Many of the opportunities God places before us look more like challenges. Rahab was not presented with an easy choice. Doubtless, others in her same position would have given up these men because they were foes. Perhaps they would have seen this as an opportunity to seize the enemy to gain the king’s favor, but Rahab saw it as an opportunity to make those enemies her friends. She did this not because of who they were but because of who they served. There was great wisdom in her decision. God’s friendship is really what she was after. She knew that she would not stand a chance without him and neither would her family. This challenge was really an opportunity for her to act in wisdom.
Depending on the opportunities God puts before us, it can be easy to miss the value of the challenge. Sometimes, it is clear that He has given us a chance to accomplish something great. Other times, it can slip right by us if we are not wise to discern the purpose behind the moment. Rahab is lauded in the Faith Hall of Fame, but her faith did not act without wisdom. She first had to understand how valuable that moment was for her and her family, then she trusted in faith that her actions would be rewarded. Father, give us wisdom to discern the value in the challenges You place before us, that we would see and pursue the precious gems in those opportunities.