When it’s time to make a deal
Rahab, is one of two famous prostitutes in the Bible. The action of both prostitutes changed the world. If Rahab and Mary Magdalene could change the course of history, could we at least change our own family?
What did Rahab do? Very little, actually. At least, by our standards. She wasn’t a preacher. She didn’t write a book. She didn’t have a good reputation. You would never see her on television unless it was on the news where she had just been arrested by an undercover agent for selling sex.
Speaking of undercover - that is what made her, and her name, famous. In Joshua chapters two through six you will read how she hid two Israeli spies under the stalks of flax on her roof and negotiated with them to save her and her family. That’s it. That’s all she did - and 4000 years later we still read about her.
When she made a deal with these men, I seriously doubt she planned on changing her lifestyle and living in purity among the Jews for the rest of her life. Her mind was on one thing: survival. She was desperate. These spies had shown up at her door unannounced. Perhaps she thought they were “customers” until they started talking. As the door quickly slams behind them, she finds out they are spies from the Israeli army and she is smart enough to know it’s time to negotiate.
“We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. We’ve heard how you completely destroyed two kingdoms east of the Jordon ... so what I am wondering is, why are you here?” They explain why they are there and she decides to cooperate and hides them on her roof. When the king’s men come looking for the spies, she lies and sends the king’s soldiers off on a wild goose chase.
Immediately, she climbs up on the roof where she had hid the two spies. Without a second hesitation she lifts up one of the stalks of flax and whispers, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
“Now, I want to make a deal with you ... Swear to me, by the LORD, that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death" (Joshua 2: 8-13 paraphrase).
To her surprise, she heard one of the spies say, “Okay, our lives for yours.” For their safety she instructs them to “Go hide in the hills for three days.” Before leaving, the men promised to protect her, and her family, if a red string was hanging from her window when the Israeli army arrived to capture the city.
Why was Rahab’s family saved? One reason.
She believed what she had heard about their God and she knew she better get on the winning side if she wanted to live. She negotiated a deal that changed the course of history for her family. From one act of faith she is named in the linage of Jesus. What a wonderful legacy. What a woman of courage!
She didn’t even know their God, but she knew He had power. You must believe in that same Power. She believed what she heard about God and it changed her world. Do you believe what you’ve heard? God IS able. We must believe in His Power to deliver. Don’t feel guilty if it’s hard for you to believe right now. Just remember, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word” (Rom 10:17). Reading the Word daily, submitting to His teaching, and speaking His Word will build your faith. Know there is an end to this. You won’t be in this forever. Believe in what you’ve heard about God.