THE UNLIKELY SAINT

rahab

Rahab is probably the most unlikely saint who made it to the fall of fame for faith outlined in Hebrews.

 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. (Hebrews 11:31)

She was likely a temple prostitute, a not too uncommon profession in Canaanite times. Either by divine providence or because of her profession or because she demonstrated an interest in these Hebrew men who came to town, the spies end up entering her house. The book of Joshua tells us that they stayed there and received from her the critical information that Jericho was already melting in fear because of the exploits of God on behalf of the Israelites.

When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. 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.” (Joshua 2:11-13)

What set Rahab apart from all others in Jericho? Her decision to convert information to faith!

Everyone heard about the Israelites and their God. But no one else was willing to change his or her belief and pursue the difficult course of having faith in the Yahweh God. It is no different today. Countless people hear of Christ and his saving power. The world is aware of the fulfillment that comes with following God. Man does not need to search far and wide to recognize that there is a God and that submitting to him is the key to life. Yet, converting information to faith is challenging because with faith comes hard decisions.

Rahab demonstrated amazing faith. She was willing to go against the mainstream idea and truly believe that unless she chose God definitively, she would not survive. Man has this strange inertia wherein despite imminent danger, he continues to do what he has seen others do, has been taught to do and has practiced all his life. Faith requires a breaking of that inertia. Faith is characterized by difficult decisions. Rahab risked her life in protecting the spies, and gave them the information they sought. If God is true and will ultimately use our response to Christ as the measure during judgment, our life should demonstrate difficult decisions taken in submission to Christ. Rahab knew the outcome of the war before the battle began and so positioned herself on the side of life. Man goes about his business convinced of his immortality and brushes aside any notions of inconveniencing himself with submission to God. Yet, unless he truly knows that Christ will come again and triumph, he cannot position himself on the side of eternal life.

Rahab, despite being a prostitute ends up an unlikely saint, because she demonstrated amazing faith. Our origins do not matter as much as our destiny. And our destiny is fashioned by our faith.

 

 

 

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