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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)

TITLE: Her Risky Business
By Allen Povenmire


Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, and Jack the Ripper...historical names that describe character. Even our modern culture has bore witness to Dora the Explorer and, well, Andre the Giant. Humorous as those two examples might be, their epithets again describe something about the person to which they are attached.

The Bible has several examples of these names: John the Baptist, James the Lesser, Simon the Zealot, to name a few. But one person carries a stigma that none of us would want to have. She’s mentioned in the Old and New Testament. She’s found in prominent passages alongside such Biblical giants as Moses, Abraham, Joseph, David, and Noah. And though she’s held in such high regard in scripture, there’s almost always an attachment to her name that she seemingly never escaped. She’s Rahab...Rahab the prostitute.

She might have been the subject of many of a gossip session. Respectable women probably shunned her very existence. Men could have ogled her, made crude jokes about her, but some visited her in the night. Of all the people that God would use in a critical situation, Rahab the prostitute would seem least likely. And yet, this woman is used by God to help carry out a plan of leading the children of Israel to overthrow the city of Jericho.

In Joshua 2:1-4a, we read:

"Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho. ” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. 2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them...” (NIV)

By disobeying the King’s orders to produce them, Rahab risked her life and the lives of her family. But she had formed a faith in God that is somewhat unexplainable. As a Canaanite, she was an enemy of the Israelites. They didn’t worship the God of Israel. But somehow, Rahab had heard and developed this great faith.

Someone must have brought the true God to Rahab’s doorstep and because of them, Rahab became a believer. Society today would look at Rahab as beyond hope. God views people differently. As I look at the story of Rahab, I wonder who in my life I’ve deemed beyond hope, who I see as outside of God’s reach. Sadly, we often apply our own limitations to God.

Rahab’s house was built into the walls of the city of Jericho, making it easy to find for travelers. Also being outside the mainstream of society, it was a place men could access without being noticed. All this might have been good business strategy on her part, but God used Rahab right where she lived. The Bible says her location helped the spies escape their would-been capture because: “...she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall(Joshua 2: 15, NIV). God uses people where they are, and in Rahab’s case, quite literally.

Through her faith, Rahab not only saved her life, but also the lives of her family. As the city of Jericho was being destroyed by the Israelites, the Bible says “...Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho —and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” (Joshua 6:25, NIV) One can’t help wonder if Rahab’s relationship with all her family was strong. How many of her family had shunned her for her profession, but because of her act of faith, saw her differently? Most importantly, how many of them came to know God because of their prostitute relative?

By consistently referring to her as Rahab the prostitute, scripture isn’t attempting to stain the woman listed among the Biblical giants of faith in Hebrew 11. Rather, the epithet serves to demonstrate that by pursuing God’s purpose for our lives, our past can no longer hold us captive.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 469 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dannie Hawley 05/24/12
You've done an excellent job bringing us into this story... a favorite of mine. How beautifully it shows how the Lord looks at the heart and uses those who are willing, regardless of what others might think. Indeed, you've made a good point here... are we seeing others as God does or as the world does?
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/12
You made some great points in this Bible study. I really enjoyed how you opened my eyes. Good job.
C D Swanson 05/26/12
A beautiful job with this well written and riveting entry. I have been to Bible studies where it was told, that she wasn't a prostitute. In fact a smart business woman who made fine "linen clothing" and she hid the men on the roof under all of her rolls of material. It was an interesting Bible study, even looking at the "orginal Hebrew" transcipts, showing it never referred to her as a prostitute.

In any case, I just wanted to share that...I loved this story. Great job.

God Bless~
Sandra Renee Hicks 05/26/12
Hi -

The story of Rahab is one of my favorites.

I immensely enjoyed this read. It is engaging and proves the glory of GOD and how He elects to handle His business. Our Lord has plenty of ways to guide people to advance His kingdom.

How amazing also that Jesus came from the lineage of Rahab - Matthew 1:5 and Ruth 4:21.
Graham Insley05/27/12
'...our past can no longer hold us captive.'

I love it. That is one great message and you gave it very well.

thank you.
Carol Penhorwood 05/27/12
Rahab is such an example of the mercy and forgiveness of God, for she is also listed in the ancestry of Jesus. The amazing, redemptive love of God!
Lillian Rhoades 05/27/12
You gave a clear and compelling historical account of Rahab's story. I like your introduction.

I think "Making it easy to find for travelers," might be better written as: "Making it easy for travelers to find."
I love your thought about God using us right where we live. We "live" in so many places at different times in our lives and yet He continues to see us as usable.

Many wonderful applications to Rahab's story here.
Allison Egley 05/27/12
Nice job. Did you know Rahab is also one of only five (I think?)women specifically mentioned in Jesus' genealogy in Matthew 1?

My only suggestion would be to tell us something that is little known about Rahab. Generally, devotionals work best if it's more than a retelling of what we know.

This, however, was not a bad retelling at all. In fact, it was quite good.
Leah Nichols 05/28/12
Excellent non-fiction piece to emphasize how God uses us no matter what titles are thrust upon us, even if they are of our own doing. An easy read with a needed message.
Edmond Ng 05/29/12
A nicely written piece with a clear message of God's forgiveness.
lynn gipson 05/29/12
My past does not determine my future....LOVE this. God Bless and thank you, very very good
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/31/12
Congratulations for placing 7th in level three and 28 overall!