Seriously Lord, why Rahab the Harlot?

After posting the last entry about the 5 women in Jesus’ genealogy, I still find myself amazed at the grace of God. And the more I think about these women’s individual profile, the more I get amazed. So, I decided to dig more into who these women are, hoping I would see more of God’s grace.

English: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spi...

English: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies, c. 1896-1902, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) or follower, gouache on board, 9 1/16 x 6 5/8 in. (23.1 x 16.9 cm), at the Jewish Museum, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Originally, I planned to start with Tamar, but the second woman got me intrigued — Rahab the harlot.

And it struck me hard. Jesus is a descendant of a Canaanite prostituteI can still get past the Gentile part, but the “prostitute” thingy, that’s heavy stuff.

Joshua 2:1 is the first mention of Rahab — and the Bible is straightforward about who she is.

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.

I have always thought how cool it is for my name to be mentioned in the Bible, especially one that would link me with Jesus. But not this way.

Rahab is a prostitute. I  think the Bible wants to make this crystal clear. The phrase “Rahab the prostitute” is mentioned 5 times in the Bible: thrice in OT and twice in the New Testament (Joshua 2:1; 6;17; 6;25; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).

This is really heavy stuff, eh? Evere wondered why not  Deborah or Miriam or any Israelite woman with a good, stellar record of righteousness? Why, would the holy, righteous God include the name of a harlot into the genealogy of His Son Jesus?

Again, I found myself seeking His counsel in my secret place.

Then HE answered, His grace shining in through:

“I show My great mercy and power through human weaknesses. Whenever you feel at your weakest, whenever you feel you’re the most undeserving, whenever you feel you are in your filthiest, most sinful moment, that is the moment where My power shines the brightest and My compassion for you beats the strongest. My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

“Why harlotry, of all sin?” I asked.

Harlotry is the epitome of self-inflicted, gut-wrenching brokenness. The prostitute knows it is wrong, but she can not escape due to various reasons. And each time a prostitute commits the act, he or she is broken into further smaller pieces that seem irreparable. She feels like it is too late to turn back.

Same with you. Every time you commit a sin that you swear you won’t be doing again, you feel like you are breaking yourself into pieces that are too small to be restored back. 

But my message is this: No matter how filthy you feel, I can reach out to you and turn your life around, I can make it right, and even do wonders through it, when everybody else — including yourself — thought you are good for nothing and can never be restored.”

“Then what is the appropriate response to your Grace, Lord?”

The first 2 words of Hebrews 11:31 read… “BY FAITH, the prostitute Rahab…


One thought on “Seriously Lord, why Rahab the Harlot?

  1. Pingback: A Closer Look at Joshua: Part 1 | A Closer Look

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