I'm sorry, but Rahab the harlot has always reminded me of the noble, bighearted saloon girls in the 1950s TV westerns. There was always one; her name was usually Kitty. A few of the local rowdies would predictably be goading a down-on-his-luck cowhand, and Kitty would take his side and give them a piece of her mind.
Rahab is strong like that---clear-minded and quick-thinking, too. She has heard the rumors of an encroaching military force and sees the handwriting on the wall. Devoid of over-sentimentality, due to the nature of her profession, she soberly takes stock of her situation and acts. She tells the spies: "I know that the Lord has given you the land . . ." (verse 9). Oh, would that the people of God had such assurance of faith!
Her decisive steps to save herself from destruction are as good a picture of a biblical conversion as there is. Not much in the way of deep love for God is required on the ground floor; it is enough to see danger and flee to Him. ". . . Save yourselves from this crooked generation" (Acts 2:40). ". . . [F]lee from the wrath to come" (Luke 3:7).
God is the most humble of husbands. He takes as his lover a person whose motive for union is at first pure self-interest and is content to let the relationship develop over time. There is a sense in which salvation is a stark and unromantic business transaction---a covering with the blood of Christ in exchange for my white-flag surrender.
The writer of Hebrews is impressed enough to list Rahab among the likes of Abraham and Moses in the "hall of faith." Joshua 6:17 has a more down-to-earth description of her accomplishments: ". . . she hid the messengers whom we sent." Who would have thought that prosaic act merited such accolades? You have done something like that yourself every time you sent a check to a missionary, or allowed yourself to be interrupted by someone because you thought God would like that.
Bible teacher Beth Moore suggests for homework that you add your own name to Hebrews 11, with your name filled in after the words "By faith. . . ." Let's see now: By faith Jane gave a hug to Sally today, even though she knew she might be rejected.
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