I love what God is willing to do for a damsel in distress, and I fall in love with Him over and over when I see that Prince Charming side of Him. I have been wandering the portraits of Biblical characters in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews during my Bible study. There one portrait there that could seem like a misfit…next to larger-than-life figures like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Joshua, you’ll find Rahab the Prostitute…and that is no mistake!
Rahab was working in the oldest profession in the world, in the City of Jericho when Joshua and the Israelite army arrived on the scene. Joshua sent spies into the city ahead of that big battle, and those spies were hidden by Rahab, the Prostitute before she struck a deal with them. After she lied to the officials and they headed off on a wild goose chase, Rahab begged the spies to show kindness to her family. They agreed provided her family stayed in her home when the walls fell…and that she hang a scarlet cord from the window, the same window from which she later lowered the spies to safety outside the walls of the city.
God not only delivered Rahab and her family, He also redeemed her. Before Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Rahab might have felt destined to leave a legacy of shame. How could one woman among Jericho’s large population believe she could be delivered from death? Strictly by faith. The day she believed God, everything began to change. Rahab and her family were delivered; she got married and raised a family, her reputation was restored…and in the genealogy of Jesus, you will find her. God gave this painted lady dignity and honour for her faith, and hung her portrait in the Hall of Faith.
In a long list of heroes, God chose a heroine after my own heart. I’m not a prostitute, nor have I ever been employed as one (thank you very much), but I have at times felt the stigma of one. It wasn’t like I was the only teenager in my small town that had sex way too young, but I was the one that got “caught” and everyone knew it. In some people’s minds, I still have a “bad reputation”.
Rahab is not the only prostitute mentioned in the Bible…there was also the Samaritan woman at the well, and the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair…Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. We can never go so far that Jesus cannot rescue us. He does not expect us to clean up our lives before we begin to trust Him. Jesus is the Scarlet Cord that hung on a cross to demonstrate His love for all sinners and misfits, including prostitutes. It’s not a new revelation, but for me this Easter, it has been a breathtaking reminder of God’s redemption and love.