Her name means “wide, roomy (in any or every direction)” and comes from a verb meaning “to broaden or enlarge.” Rahab’s faith saved her family from destruction and opened up a brand new trajectory for her life and family.
Her story: Joshua 2:1-3, 6:17-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25
When the Isrealites returned to the edge of the Promised Land after wandering 40 years, Joshua sent two spies into the countryside. They stayed at Rahab’s house in Jericho’s city wall. When the king ordered Rahab to turn over the spies, she hid them in flax stalks on her roof and reported they had left the city. Then Rahab had a long conversation with the spies. She told them she knew the Lord had given Jericho to the Israeiites, what she knew happened at the Red Sea, and how Israel had destroyed the kingdoms on the other side of the Jordan River. She begged them to spare her and her family. The spies gave Rahab a scarlet thread to tie in her window and told her to gather her family into the house and shut the doors. If she wouldn’t reveal their activity, she would be safe. Then, Rahab lowered them down the outer wall by rope after dark and they safely returned to Joshua. When the Israelites marched around Jericho, the scarlet thread marked Rahab’s house and her promise. Her portion of the wall didn’t fall when the rest of the walls of Jericho fell. Joshua sent the two spies to get her and her family and remove them from the city before it was set on fire. In Matthew, we find her in the genealogy of Jesus: She married Salmon, an Isrealite, and had a son named Boaz.
The writer of Hebrews includes Rahab in chapter 11, along with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Moses and others. She heard what God did for Israel and she believed He was the “God in heaven above and on earth below.” She recognized safety and salvation only comes through Him.
Her legacy for us: God’s goodness and His ability to change our life and legacy rely on three things: recognizing His sovereignty, accepting His gift of salvation, and following His instructions. His love will spare us, but there’s so much more for us than just being saved from destruction.
Our response to Him: How can I learn to recognize Your work and trust Your promises in times of trouble?