To be perfectly honest, I've never much thought about Rahab, a Bible character with a rather tarnished past. But Rahab was truly a virtuous woman and because we all have a tarnished past, I thought I'd write about this strong woman today.
Rahab feared the Lord
Now, I don't mean fear in the sense that she was afraid of God, although her faith probably sprung from a bit of fear. Rather, she was in awe of our awesome God. Rahab, a Gentile woman (remember-- until Christ, Gentiles were not included in God's salvation unless they converted to the Jewish faith) heard the report of the Jewish God and believed that He was the true God. At her time, the Israelites were conquering the land of Canaan, not by sword and chariot, but by God's miracles. Regardless of how she had been raised and the idols she most likely worshiped, Rahab had an ear to hear. While the city of Jericho shook in fear of what was to come, she did not fear.
Rahab cared for others above herself
Who knows what could have happened to Rahab had her people found out she was a traitor. I'm guessing imprisonment or death. Yet she risked her own life because she realized these two men were on God's side. She wanted to be on God's side too. In caring for others, Rahab actually ends up saving herself AND her family.
Rahab believed in forgiveness
All sin is wrong and all sin separates us from God. Yet in our own minds, I think we often see it a little differently. Someone who commits murder is usually thought worse than someone who cheats on a test. In the same way, perhaps Rahab felt her past was more sinful than others. But that didn't stop her. She believed in the power of God's grace to save anyone. Isn't that the hardest thing of all-- to believe that we, no matter our flaws, can be saved by God's grace??
Rahab saved her family
Because of her faith and willingness to act, Rahab actually saved the lives of her family. Every person in her city was destroyed except for Rahab and her family, all because of Rahab's faith. In fact, remember Ruth? Rahab ended up marrying a Jewish man and they were the parents of Boaz, Ruth's husband! God saw Rahab's character and she too was placed in the most important lineage of all time-- the line of Jesus Christ.