Hope for me

Matthew 1:5

Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.

I remember the first time I heard of Rahab when studying the scriptures. The Book of Joshua is one of my favorites and then when you add in Rahab I began to see that there is truly hope for me and for all who believe.

Here is a harlot (a prostitute or promiscuous person) yes in this case she was a woman, but I  too had no problem selling myself in order to either avoid the pain of life or try and find anything that would fill the emptiness in my soul. Don’t we all?

This harlot who had heard of the works of the Lord, acted in faith and hid the Hebrew spies. We read this story and it is present as a great act of faith, see Hebrews 11:31. I wonder though if it did not start out as a simple act of self preservation. Having heard all that the Lord was doing for the Chosen people she knew what could be in store for her as well as her family. Nevertheless, she hid the spies and allowed them save passage.

In doing this thing she begged the spies that kindness be shown to her and her family. What she received was far more that kindness. She and her household were saved that is true; a red scarf hung on the door of the house and when Jericho fell she and her household were not only spared their life’s they became part of the larger family of God. Think about that, Rahab was a Canaanite woman. She was born an enemy of God as a Canaanite, and her profession was a direct offense to God.

So after God destroyed Jericho and she and her family were folded into the People of God. She found a husband and had children and I am guessing that she stopped being a harlot as there is no mention of it again. I wonder if it was easy for her to not be a harlot any more. In between Joshua Chapter 2 when we first meet Rahab and Hebrews Chapter 11 where we believe it is Paul mentions her again so much happened. The Bible teach us things were not easy for the Israelites after the fall of Jericho and this was mostly related to the Israelites unfaithfulness. So life could not have been any easier for her as an outsider.

But wait there is more, Rehab married a man and gave birth Boaz. You know Boaz, he is known as our kinsman redeemer as told to us in the Book of Ruth. And there is still more, Boaz and Ruth had Obed, who had a son Jesse, who’s son is King David and we know that this bloodline has given us Jesus, the Christ, our redeemer.

This cannot be true, from harlot to Great Great Grandmother of the King of Israel. I have known in my life time two of my own great grandmothers and I have sat and listen to the stories of their childhood – can I image David sitting with Ruth, his great grandmother and her sharing with him the stories of God as told to her by her mother Rahab? What truly amazing stories they must have been.

So here we are men, how much like the harlot were we. Except for the gender issue, I am pretty close – born and enemy of God. Using people and things to fill holes in my soul and to stop the pain thinking that this was how life would be. But God – he saved us at that crisis of faith and He has given us much more than we could think or image.

Think for a moment about our children and our children’s children and their children. At 50 years old that is not as far away as I think. What stories of God’s faithful will they here about in our life’s to take with them in theirs. What are we going to allow God to do with our lives now that he has saved us?

Thank you Father for saving us from ourselves. For giving us a hope and a future. Amen!!



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