I am a first generation born-again/sold out for Jesus/God is the only reason I'm on this earth Christian. I know that my family somewhere up the line went to church and had a belief in God, but I'm the first in a long line of mothers that is raising my kids from before birth to hopefully follow Christ.
As such, I take great, great comfort in the story of Rahab. At first glance, it's unlikely.
This woman was a harlot. Which means a prostitute. And, no, I wasn't a prostitute. But a big sinner, yes. And going the wrong way, yes.
That famous battle at Jericho? Where the walls came-a-tumbling down, down, down?
That's the battle that Rahab hung out the red cord. She had lied to THE KING regarding two Israelite spies whereabouts. They were hidden on her roof, and she was savvy enough to gain the promise that she & those in her house wouldn't be hurt by the Israelites when they came into the city because she had helped them. And they kept their promise, because she identified herself with the red cord out her window.
But the story doesn't stop there. You have to go to the New Testament to see the rest. In the usually skipped over lineage of Jesus.
Matthew 1:5- "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab..."
Boaz, Boaz, Boaz...one half of the most beautiful and heroic love stories in the entire Bible. Ruth and Boaz.
Ruth, who was a Gentile woman. Who chose to leave her people and her country and her country's gods to travel with her mother-in-law (one of God's people). Which meant following her to Bethlehem. Where Boaz was an extremely successful and respected man. But there is so much MORE to it.
I am going through Ruth with Maizie (5) right now. By chapter 2, the girl was HOOKED. So we've been reading it a lot. And she asked to do a Ruth "lapbook" (homeschool talk for big project with lots of glue and scissors). So I oblige. I mean, I suppose I could handle that since I don't have to feed any winged insects with an eyedropper.
One day we went through the book of Ruth and listed all of Ruth's character qualities. And as I did that, I thought, "Why not? Boaz is in here, too, let's do him as well." And ladies, what I saw brought tears to my eyes. I have scripture references for all these.
generous, observant, kind, honest, respectable...
protector, wise, caretaker, compassionate, cheerful...
available, teachable, understanding, strong...
I'm sure it could have gone on, but I was loosing the attention of the five year old. And weirding her out a bit.
"Mom, why in the world are you crying?"
Because there's hope for us, baby. There is hope.
You see, there is a lot in this Bible story. The whole thing is actually (for lack of a better word) momentous in relation to Jesus. To have not only Rahab, but also Ruth in his lineage is
SO. LIKE. GOD.
But there's something else, too. Sort of a whisper. That I've missed in the past. And it takes my breath away.
Boaz's mother won with her son.
Rahab, whose upbringing probably wasn't that great, whose life was a mess prior, who possibly knew nothing of God's law before hearing about what He had done with the Israelites...THAT WOMAN partnered with and was led by her Israelite husband to raise a son like Boaz. Because God was bigger than her stuff and her past. She's called a prostitute a couple of times in scripture (Jas 2:25, Hebrews 11:31). We can praise God for the mighty work He did in her life, and because her past-sin included-probably made her one spitfire of a walking testimony for the one true God.
God redeemed her. And He taught her. And He blessed her. And she was faithful. And, YES, she helped the spies. And, YES, that was huge. But I could just weep with thankfulness over the legacy that she left in Boaz.
Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.
King David. And his descendant, King Jesus.
Oh God, make me like the redeemed Rahab.
One faithful and blessed spitfire.
With a legacy that points only to You.