As I think about my trust journey and the faithfulness of God I am reminded of how real the battle is within as we fight to overcome old habits. There can be days we feel as if we’re making progress and then something happens and our old way of thinking creeps in. It messes with our mind and our heart and we find ourselves doubting God and his plan.
It was during a time of war when Rahab was confronted with the choice to put her faith into action and trust God. Rahab had decisions to make. Would she trust those knocking at her front door and the door of her heart?
I can imagine Rahab did not trust many people in her life due to the profession she had chosen for herself. Although Rahab had many talents she did not use them but instead chose harlotry as her livelihood. For years men would come to her home and use her body why they shared stories of how the God of the Israelites performed miracles for his people, and was now leading them to the Promised Land. When they would leave her I only imagine how Rahab wondered if God could save her from the empty life and shame she found herself living.
Similar to the times we live in today, Rahab found herself surrounded by hatred, crime, and wars. There was feast and famine as the people did their best to find their way. Rahab was not much different than us as she too was doing her best to make ends meet and care for her family. In lieu of all that was happening around her she also experienced a war raging inside the deepest parts of her soul. It was the darkness fighting the light that wanted to bring truth out from within. The truth that she was valuable and worthy of a genuine love. She no longer needed to live in the lies of the enemy and a false sense of love and security from those who used and abused her. Rahab knew there was more to life than what she had experienced and she longed to know more about that love and to be set free.
As I thought about Rahab I began to imagine what it would be like to interview her and I found myself:
Me: I am standing outside what once was the wall surrounding Jericho. As you can see behind me these walls have crumbled after the army of Joshua marched around them for 7 days. What was once a city that felt safe and secure within the walls built as tall as 25 feet high and 20 feet thick now lay in rubble. It appears all life has been destroyed except one family which belongs to a citizen of Jericho named Rahab.
Rahab, Share with us your feelings as you look back at where the walls of Jericho once stood and now lay in ruin?
Rahab: I am in shock at how quickly life can change. One day I am with my people and as much as we’ve struggled and doubted God and sometimes one another, we now find him to be real. He saved me and my family and I do not know why. The fear we felt was like a black cloud hovering over us as we listened to Joshua’s army marching for 7 days. There was great tension amongst the people as we watched and waited.
Me: I am sure the image of today will be embedded in your memory for years to come. Can you tell us; is it true you hid the spies after making an agreement with them in order to save your family?
Rahab: Yes, I did. I knew from the spies the Israelites were headed our way to get to the Promised Land. I’ve heard many stories of their God and how he goes before them making a way when there is no other way. He has performed many miracles on their behalf. For years I have felt a tugging at my heart as I’ve listened to these stories. My life is one I have not been proud of but I did only what I knew in order to care for my family. And now, God has shown mercy to us in a time of great loss. I don’t believe I will ever be the same.
As I’ve listened to this still small voice reassuring me things were going to be ok a peace has come over me I’ve not experienced before. I knew their God had sent them but I was not sure what would happen to us in the end. I stepped out in faith and took them at their word. I followed their instructions and because of God’s goodness and mercy I am standing here today.
I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us…. The Lord, your God he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath (Joshua 2:9-11).
Me: You say there was this small still voice did you believe this was God and that he was trying to tell you something?
Rahab: In my heart I knew and believed it to be God, the God I’d heard about from the stories passed down through generations. At night I would listen and I could feel a presence come over me reassuring me God was with me. It was this peace igniting a desire within to trust God that gave me the strength to step out in faith and help the spies.
Me: As I look back at the rubble I can see the scarlet cord still hanging from the window. Can you tell us what that means to you?
Rahab: Yes, I had been dying some flax stocks on the roof which is where I first hid the spies when the guards came looking for them. It was this flax I had made the cord from which would be the sign to pass by my home and spare those inside. It is the symbol of the covenant made between me and the spies, and a sign of our faith and trust in a God we did not know until put to the test. Although we had heard much about their God we had not experienced him personally. The color scarlet symbolizes the blood shed for the safety of my family.
Me: The Word on the street is that Joshua’s army blew their trumpets and marched around the city of Jericho for 7 days and nights. I can only imagine the noise must have created great tension and fear not knowing what was going to happen next. Were you fearful of what was about to happen and did you ever doubt the sincerity of these two spies?
The Israelites marched around the walls once every day for six days with the priests and the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day they marched seven times around the walls, then the priests blew their ram’s horns, the Israelites raised a great shout, and the walls of the city fell.
Rahab: Yes, I was fearful for those in my town and the war raging outside of the walls of Jericho. Although we were a strong city behind the walls we were now facing uncertainty with Joshua’s army marching around our land. I had heard many stories of how the Israelites God had brought them through war, trials, and famine.
This called for me to act in faith and trust God that the spies would honor our agreement. I longed for something more and desired to see God’s power manifested in my life. I wondered would he save me too.
Me: Rahab, I can see the exhaustion in your eyes. Your clothes are dirty and tattered from making your way through the rubble and stone that once surrounded Jericho. You are covered in dust and ash, and I can see the pain behind your tear streaked face as you muster up the courage to share your story of how God saved you.
Any idea of what is next for you?
Rahab: Although we’ve lost everything, we have not lost our life. For now l will follow the Israelites as they move toward the Promised Land and learn more about their God. I no longer want to live as I did behind the walls of Jericho; it was an empty and lonely life. Today I and my family have been set free. The reality is I had been sinning against God and living as a harlot! I’ve been given a second chance now and it’s my desire to live according to the commandments God gave to Moses and his people.
Me: We can clearly see God has been good to Rahab and her family. Because of God’s people keeping their promise to Rahab she has a new faith and trust in God. As far as we know there has been no other promises made from the spies outside of them sparing Rahab and her family due to the agreement made weeks back.
As we move into the weeks ahead I hope you will join me in hearing more of how God creates in Rahab a new heart as there was purpose in her pain, and her journey to the other side, from fear to faith.