Listen:  146.5

I am very thankful for this question, for Rahab was a trophy of God’s marvelous GRACE and we do well to meditate often on the grace of God. The name Rahab is found ten times in Scripture and in seven of them they are referring to the same woman. In the other three (Psalm 87:4; Psalm 89:10 and Isaiah 51:9) Rahab is another name for the nation of Egypt.

Among the many “Bible stories” that have been impressed upon the minds of millions of people, the story of the Fall of Jericho and the deliverance of Rahab is surely one of them. Rahab is introduced to us in Joshua 2:1, “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.” We learn immediately that she was a HARLOT. God does not mince words; He exposes her for what she was. In the last two references where Rahab is mentioned, the same unflattering truth is revealed. We read in Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” And then inJames 2:25 we see, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way.” Why did God choose to remind us of Rahab’s sordid past? I believe He did this to show us that no matter how wicked she was, His grace was able to change her from an ungodly heathen to a humble believer. The apostle Paul never forgot that before he met the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road, he was a murderer of Christians. In Galatians 1:13 he said, “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.” But like Rahab, Saul of Tarsus was miraculously saved by the grace of God and thus he could say, in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.” I’m sure Rahab NEVER forgot what she was and was quick to attribute her new life to the matchless grace of God!

God’s grace is clearly seen in Matthew 1:5 which says, “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab” (NASB). In Matthew’s opening verses he is giving us the genealogy of Christ to prove that He was the Messiah of Israel and here we learn that Rahab was in that Royal line from which Christ came. Not only had God’s grace saved her from the judgment that struck Jericho, but He made her a part of Israel and joined her in marriage to Salmon. Think of what this means. She had been a despised Gentile, and on top of that a harlot, and yet God’s grace brought her into the very family that gave birth to Christ! If ever there was a scripture that revealed the divine inspiration of the scriptures, here it is. A pious Jew would never have included Rahab in this genealogy of Christ if they had their way, but God is the Author of His Word and He led the pen of Matthew to include Rahab’s name to the list of the Royal family.

I would add that there are three other women in this list that also magnify God’s amazing grace. We read of Tamar in verse 3, Ruth in verse 5, and Bathsheba in verse 6. Tamar, like Rahab, had played the harlot. Her shameful story is recorded in Genesis 38:11-30. Ruth was a Moabite and according to Deuteronomy 23:3 she should never have been allowed a place in Israel. And Bathsheba came to be the wife of David through the sin of adultery and murder, as seen in 2 Samuel 11. These accounts bring to mind the blessed truth of Romans 5:20, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

If you are saved, may you never forget that you owe every blessing, for time and eternity, to the grace of God. Rahab was spared when the walls of Jericho fell in holy judgment; we have been saved from the judgment that will soon strike this ungodly, Christ-rejecting world. Rahab was blessed by being brought into the Royal family of the Messiah; we have been brought into the family of God. God’s grace recorded Rahab’s name eternally in His sacred Word; our names have been recorded forever in heaven. May we find ourselves echoing over and over again the words of the apostle Paul, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”  (146.5)  (DO)