The Faith of an OutsiderI know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.Joshua 2:9-11
For context, read all of Joshua 2
Once again, we are presented with the story of a prostitute. At this point in history, Joshua had taken over the leadership of Israel from Moses and was preparing to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. He sent two spies to look over the land. The place they chose to stop? A prostitute's house in Jericho.
Why would the men stop there? The Bible doesn’t explicitly say. We know from Scripture that her house was located on the city wall so that it would be easily accessible to get in and would also make for a quick escape. It is also possible that they would be able to obtain intel on the city from the people who frequent that type of establishment while they remained fairly inconspicuous. Unfortunately, they were somehow found out. Someone informed the king that Israelite spies came into the city so he sent a message to Rahab commanding her to bring them out.
Here is the pivotal moment. Consider all of the factors. She was a pagan and an enemy of Israel. These men were planning to annihilate her entire city. Why wouldn’t she do as the king commanded? And yet, she didn’t. She hid the men and claimed that they had already fled.
Why did she protect her enemies? Because she had heard stories of His power and might and she believed in their God. In exchange for hiding them, she boldly asked them to provide protection for herself and her family during the raid.
Remember that an entire generation of Israelites had just died and did not get to possess the Promised Land because of a lack of faith in the might of God. And yet a woman, who did not personally know God and had never seen with her own eyes any of the miracles that she had heard about, believed in His power. As a pagan, Canaanite, prostitute, she had more faith in the omnipotence of God than an entire generation of Jews.
And God took notice. Not only was her family protected when Jericho was ransacked but she went from being an outsider to an insider. Joshua 6:25
says, “...and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” A pagan, Canaanite, prostitute, lived among the Israelites.
But that’s not all. In Hebrews 11:31
, we see Rahab’s name listed in the Hall of Faith as one who “was not killed with those who were disobedient”. Despite her sinful lifestyle, she was saved because of her faith.
And perhaps the greatest proof that she was no longer an outsider is the honor that we discover bestowed on her in Matthew 1
. Rahab, one of only four women, listed in the genealogy of Jesus.
The WORD about women in Rahab’s story is that God is and always has been drawing those from the outside in. Sister, you are not an outsider in His eyes.ReflectHave you ever felt like an outsider as a woman? How has God shown you that you are valuable and that you belong
?PrayFather, I thank You for being a God that loves the outcast. A God who loves the outsiders enough to bring them in. A God who sees our heart of faith despite our sin. Amen.