Just when I think I know Bible stories so well, God reveals to me something new and profound. This past year he showed me someone very special – a woman named Rahab. On the surface, because of her means of living as a prostitute, she is easy to criticize and judge. But she is so much more than perhaps first thought. Rahab was a simple woman, yet complex as any other. She was genuine and real. She loved her family, yet as much as she did they weren’t enough to fulfill her. She was obedient to her king, yet still felt incomplete and unsatisfied. It didn’t matter how often she may have tried to cleanse herself, she would return to her old ways. She knew she wasn’t enough for herself and also knew her lifestyle was leading her no-where. Rahab was unsettled and uneasy, stuck, and searching for a better way to live.
Don’t I do the same? I use my gifts and talents, but for what purpose? Don’t I have a way of life, of habits and rituals, doing only as I know how, living by my own standards, or my culture’s standards, while still expecting a secure, peaceful, fulfilled life?
Rahab had not only heard of the Israelite’s god, she chose to believe in him. She must have been excited to see the Israelite spies at her door, and even may have seen them as a sign from God. Here is a woman who hungered for a better way, and who happens to show up at her home? Men of God. The very men who Joshua sent, through God’s instructions. This was a divine appointment.
Rahab knew, though, that declaring her allegiance to God meant leaving the life she understood. She would need to leave Jericho and the life she knew. She would need to become accustomed to the Israelite’s way of living under God - a new god to worship and obey. She also risked reactions from her family. But Rahab knew her need of saving, and made the radical decision to renew her life. And God honored Rahab’s decision…
Rahab, a woman who was most likely ignored, abused, gossiped about, mistreated, ridiculed, hated… was chosen by God. She not only helped save his people, but God honored her decision to follow him by placing her in Jesus’ lineage. Regardless of who she was, she whole-heartedly knew her need to repent, believe, and follow God, and the risk paid off.
Accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior at a young age, I came to learn God’s forgiveness and grace, but over my teen years and adult years, I have come to also know God as my “Everyday Savior”. The lessons I learned through my childhood and adult years forced me to depend on God for everything. He’s not only my savior of my soul, he is my “Everyday Savior”. This doesn’t mean my life is perfect, easy, or relaxed. My stubbornness and disobedience takes over from time to time, and I need to refocus on God’s will instead of my own.
Just as God used Joshua and Rahab, he is using me, and I know he wants to use you, too. Because despite our failures and our pure humanity, God is God. He forgives us when we ask, then urges us to use our gifts and talents for him. And where we aren’t enough, he is. While I’m sometimes tempted to live on my own, on my own terms, God nudges me from time to time, and reminds me of who he is. He allows struggle and pain to draw me closer to him, and to depend on him for everything. Every time I sit down to play and perform, God says, “You do what you can do, and I’ll do the rest.” It’s an awesome way to live.
"Rahab" Music and Lyrics by Rhonda Louise (The Holy Bible - Joshua 2:1-23, 6:1-25, and Matthew 1:5)
I wonder if she was pretty Did her hair curl in the rain? She must’ve had a welcoming smile Because being a harlot Couldn’t have been easy In selling herself for a time Used then forgotten Not as a woman but an item To satisfy men’s fleeting desires Bathing then relenting To her way of life The familiar cycle left her tired Rahab knew her need of a savior Rahab left a legacy Of imperfect humanity And in her inadequacies She sought out She sought out In need of a savior Opening her door To spies in her home She welcomed them in happily And in her response With grateful hearts They made a promise to her family Rahab knew her need of a savior Rahab left a legacy Of imperfect humanity And in her inadequacies She sought out She sought out In need of a savior Only a woman Long ago forgotten But deep in her family tree And many moons later In a dark, quiet stable Mary held her newborn baby God knew our need of a Saviour Rahab left a legacy Of imperfect humanity And in her inadequacies She sought out She sought out In need of a savior I wonder if she was pretty Did her hair curl in the rain? She must’ve had a beautiful smile
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