Read |Joshua 1 - 2 & 6: 22 - 27|
Ask anyone to create a highlight reel of their most significant life moments and you are likely to see listed, a series of firsts. My first day at school. My first tooth lost. My first crush. My first kiss. My first _____. There is something about beginnings that refuses to let us loose. They leave their mark, making every moment after pale in comparison. In the book of Joshua, we meet a woman whose first changes the trajectory of her entire family and sets the stage for an end that rivals her beginnings. We meet Rahab.
The plot is as intriguing as any thriller. The Israelite leader Joshua, preparing to enter the Promised Land, sends two spies to scout out the land of Jericho. A dangerous mission, requiring the spies take refuge amongst the stalks of flax in the roof of a prostitute, named Rahab. But, it wasn’t long until the King of Jericho discovered that the men were in hiding and confronted her. Danger was imminent. Quickly thinking, she misinforms the King as to their whereabouts, sending the Kings-men away from their intended target. Narrow escape. However, there remained a problem: the city gates had been shut, trapping the spies in enemy territory. This problem presented itself as an opportunity to Rahab, who expresses to the men her faith in the God of the Israelites and petitions them to spare the lives of she and her family. Her petition is met favorably, as the spies agree to honor her request, given that she keeps their plan secret and ties a scarlet cord to the window during the upcoming siege. They give her their word, that she and any family found in her house would be saved. Rahab let the men down by a rope through the window with instructions about where they should go to keep safe. Later the spies return to siege the city, and honor their word to Rahab. She and her family would return with the camp of Israelites, to safety.
Rahab is the first in her family to hear and believe the message concerning Christ. Yes! Way back before the Word became flesh, God had sent the announcement that One would come to deliver a captive and broken people from darkness, into Spirit filled liberty and wholeness in His light. He made the announcement through His prophets and in His interactions with His firstborn, Israel. (1 Corinthians 10: 1 - 5). In Joshua 2: 8 - 13 we hear Rahab recount the exploits of our God, from Egypt to the Red Sea and to the defeat of the Amorite kings, with insight as to their significance. She declares, “For the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below”(Joshua 2:11). However, she did not only perceive His sovereignty, but His sweet anthem of mercy and grace, as she appealed to His kindness through His servants. (Joshua 2: 12 - 13). And with a heart swelled with love for her family, she sought to have His sweet anthem ring over them as well. And much as it was for the Israelites the night the death angel swept the last breath from the firstborn of every living thing in Egypt, a declaration of His soul saving sacrifice (already, though not yet) had to be made. They wiped their doorposts with lambs’ blood and she tied a scarlet cord. (Exodus 12:7 & Joshua 2:18). All who did were spared. (Exodus 12: 12 - 13).
With this first, her title Prostitute was shoved into the past. She was saved, forgiven and considered righteous. In fact, her first was so significant that it secured her end, amongst the heroes of the Bible, as a member of the Hall of Faith. (Hebrews 11). And wonders of wonders, she is in the very Genealogy of Jesus Christ himself. ( Matthew 1:5)!!
For some of you reading today, the call is to respond as Rahab did to the message of Christ so long ago, with a profession of faith, rising from the heart.
For others of you, the call is to continue to choose Jesus in the issues of practical living, so that His glory may with increasing measure be revealed in you.
And still for many of you, there is a big ask on the table. The call is to the courage to say yes, with joyful expectation, that promised wholeness awaits you and your loved ones.
Whatever the measure of your call, saying yes to Jesus is always worth the cost. Just look at the stellar finish of your sister Rahab.
1. Read Colossians 2 for a beautiful picture of the wholeness to which Jesus calls us.
2. Join the discussion in our Be-Held Book Community about wholeness, as we read "Wholeness" by Toure Roberts.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and. founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.