One of my favourite people in the Bible was a woman called Rahab. She was one of the key players: she saved the lives of two people that God had sent into her land, when they could have been killed, by hiding them in her house, and then telling them which way to run. She made it into the family tree of Jesus; she was the mother of a man called Boaz, who was the father of a man called Obez… and somewhere down that line was J.C. She risked her life to save the lives of the two men.
But there was something that you wouldn’t expect. Rahab was a prostitute. God used a prostitute. He could have protected his men in any number of other ways, but he chose to send them to a brothel to find safety. I sometimes wonder what reaction Rahab would get if she walked into a church in Britain today; would she be warmly accepted, or would she get the weary looks and be treated differently? Rahab was the last person that you would expect to be in the Bible, especially in Jesus’ family tree – why didn’t God use someone else?
But here’s why: Rahab had a good heart. And this is what God saw; not that she was a prostitute, but that she had a heart for God and His people. And this is what mattered in the end: it was because of her heart that she saved the two men from being killed.
Because of what she did, Rahab’s story became a part of God’s story. She wasn’t a priest, or a religious leader – she was pretty much the opposite. But she’s the one in the family tree of Jesus. God used the last person that you would expect. I’m so thankful for this – I’m thankful that God doesn’t just use the priests and the religious leaders and the people who get it “right”.
There were three things about Rahab that made her a force to be reckoned with:
Rahab had FAITH – She said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you this land”. We do not have to live up to any standards, or save ourselves by what we do; we just need to know that there is a God who saves us. That’s all salvation is.
Rahab SPOKE of how good God is – she said: “He is God in heaven and on the earth below”. She knew who she was talking about!
Rahab LOVED the people around her – when the two men promised that they would protect her for what she had done for them, she said: “swear to me that you will also show kindness to my Father’s house”. She didn’t just want to keep this promise for herself, but to make sure that her family were protected, too.
Everything that we do, and everything that we say, comes from our heart: the Bible calls it the “spring of life”. So if we have a good heart, the things that we do, and the way we speak, are going to be good.
If you know God, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you. And that means that your heart is covered by God’s heart; you have the love of God inside of you. Awesome, right? The grace of God means that my heart is covered by what Jesus did on the cross – God sees me as white and pure.
“And by that will, we have been made holy, through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once and for all.” – Hebrews 10:10
So, because God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice covers you, and because he sees you as white, God is dealing with your heart – not your actions! He doesn’t even remember the things that you have done, and he covers everything that you will ever do!
Your story can become a part of God’s story – and when it does, you won’t believe the things that are in store for you.