On the first Sunday of our message series, Wonder Women: Female Heroes of the Bible, we heard how the Old Testament matriarch, Rebekah, remained faithful to God’s plan. Last week, we explored the heroism of four women that lived hundreds of years later when the Hebrew people were enslaved in Egypt. This week, we learn about a woman of ill repute but great faith.
There’s no sugarcoating it. Rahab was a prostitute, a working girl, a lady of the night. But she also was sharp-witted, clueful, and quick to believe. Despite her chosen profession, she is a biblical celebrity, appearing not only in the Book of Joshua as a heroine of the Israelite people, but also in the genealogy of Jesus and two books of the New Testament, which praise her faith.
At great risk to herself, Rahab harbored two Hebrew spies sent by Joshua, the commander of the Israelite people, to scout out the land that had been promised to them by God. In exchange for her life and the lives of her family members once Jericho was invaded, Rahab provided the cover needed to protect these foreign infiltrators sent on a mission for God.
Rahab was a Canaanite, a feared people in that region. To call them “barbaric is to describe the North Pole as nippy.” Indeed, the people of Jericho “had no regard for human life or any respect for God” (Max Lucado, Ten Women of the Bible, Thomas Nelson, 2016, 33). Yet, despite their brutal reputation, the citizens of Jericho trembled in affright, having seen the flickering lights of the multitude of Hebrew soldiers camped for three nights on Jordan’s eastern banks. The city was abuzz with fear and dread. To put it mildly, they were “freaking out” and “popping Xanax like Tic Tacs” (Lucado 36).
The natural reaction would have been to stick with the crowd and blend in with the rest. In the face of impending danger, Rahab could have huddled with her own people, hunkered down within the safety of the enormously thick and hitherto impenetrable walls of Jericho, the oldest city in the world. After all, it had always worked before.
But Rahab somehow knew that this time would be different. Like the other residents, she had heard “how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea” and won victory for the Israelites against their enemies. Unlike the others, however, Rahab was quick to believe that the God of the Hebrew people was, in fact, the one “God in heaven above and on earth below” (Joshua 2:10-11).
Indeed, a hero for God is quick to believe. In what part of your life can you follow Rahab’s nimble and lithesome faith and be a little more ready to believe in God’s awesome power?
--Father Roger Gustafson, Pastor
 For the complete story, listen to our weekend message above.
Father Roger Gustafson