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Purity Girls of the Bible:

Rahab


"…Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God…likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" (James 2:23,25)


     Today's purity girl of the Bible is Rahab (Hebrews 11:31). Rahab's story is told in the book of Joshua, chapters 1-6.
     Scene one: The curtains open as the Lord gives instructions to Israel's new leader, Joshua. Joshua has watched as Israel's first national leader, Moses, as he caused Egyptian plagues, parted the Red Sea, brought water out of a rock and provided bread by causing it to rain out of the sky. Still, Moses had experienced complaining, rebellion and even outright mutiny from the Israelites.
     Now that Moses has died, Joshua has been chosen as the new leader. Joshua knows that he serves the God of Moses, a God able to do the impossible. But he suddenly realizes how much faith it took Moses to tell Pharaoh, "Let my people go or else I'm turning all the water into blood!" and then to dip his staff in the water, knowing that if nothing happened it meant ridicule, loss of credibility and probably even death.
     Joshua is about to find out if he has that kind of faith because, in chapter one, God is giving him his marching orders: war against Jericho. Joshua is probably wondering, "If they resisted Moses the miracle-worker, how am I going to convince the Israelites to follow me into war? How can I assure them that we unarmed civilians are going to defeat a thickly-walled city? Do I even believe that we can?"
     God's reply is simple, "Be strong and of good courage." Since Joshua is so very afraid, God repeats this instruction several times. Finally, Joshua works up the courage to send two spies into Jericho to check out the city's defenses.
     Scene two: Phase one of Joshua's plan is not going smoothly. Somehow, the king of Jericho finds out that Israeli spies have entered the city. The city gates are double barred as a full-scale manhunt is ordered. The spies dodge into a place where two strangers might be welcomed with no questions asked: they enter the home of Rahab the prostitute.
     Quietly they wait as their hearts beat with fear. They listen to the searchers' voices shouting in the streets.
     "Follow me." The woman beckons to the two frightened men. Should they trust her? They have no choice. She leads them to the roof. Feeling exposed, the men crouch low, so as not to be seen from the ground. They see and smell the stalks of fragrant flax that lie drying in the hot sun. Deftly, Rahab moves some of the stalks, making two deep indents. "Lie here!" She covers the spies with the displaced stalks, careful to even out the suspicious looking mounds. Dried leaves tickle their noses, but the men know their lives depend on total stillness and silence. Rahab knows her life depends on it as well.
     The searchers' voices grow louder until they are right below. Thud, thud, thud. A heavy fist or perhaps the butt of a spear rattles the wooden door.
     "Prostitute! Send out the men you have in there! They may be Israeli spies!"
     Rahab smoothes her skirt, mentally ordering her knees not

 

to tremble. She invites the searchers into her home. "Yes, two men were here," she says, "but they left at dusk, just as the gates were being shut. If they are spies, you should pursue them immediately, because you can still catch them."
     Scene three: As the searchers rush toward the city gates, Rahab returns to the roof and quickly uncovers the two men. They notice a long, crimson rope loosely coiled around one of her strong, browned arms. Rahab fastens it securely to a sturdy metal railing, lowering the rope down the outside of the city wall, where freedom awaits.
     As the first spy grasps the rope in eager hands, Rahab stops him from rapelling down the wall. Before they go, she has both a message and a request. "Everyone here is scared to death, because we know you are coming to fight against us. We've heard of the miracles that your God has done, and we know He is the true God. Our gods don't have the power to defend us. So, please, when you win the battle, remember that I have saved your lives and show mercy on me and my family." The men reply that whomever Rahab has with her in the house will be spared during the battle. As a sign, she must tie the rope of their salvation in her window to show that she is on Israel's side and has heroically saved the spies.
     Scene four: The men return to Joshua with Rahab's message of encouragement, Joshua finds the faith to proceed with God's plan, Rahab faithfully ties the cord in the window and a most unusual battle begins. Without a shot being fired, the walls of Jericho crumble to the ground, and the Israelites easily conquer the exposed and terrified inhabitants. Everyone from Jericho is killed, with the exception of Rahab and her entire family.
     Transformed from harlot to heroine by her new-found faith in God, Rahab later marries a Jew named Salmon and has a little son whom they name Boaz. Today, her name can be found in the lineage of Jesus Christ, where she is listed as King David's great-great-grandma. Her name is also mentioned in the "hall of faith" (Hebrews 11).
     What can we learn from this previously infamous purity girl?
A purity girl's future doesn't have to be determined by    her past.
Being a purity girl requires courage to go against a    godless culture.
A life of purity begins with one right choice and    continues with each godly decision.
     Being a purity girl is not a small thing in the eyes of God. Did you notice in James 2, verses 23 and 25 that Rahab's works stemmed from a faith that was comparable to Abraham's? God doesn't just use pastors and missionaries and godly men to do amazing things. Joshua, the national leader, was emboldened by Rahab's act of faith and words of encouragement. In God's plan, a prostitute became a good example to God's chosen leader. What amazing plan do you think God has for your life?

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