My thoughts (Keith Phillips):
I love Bible stories about unconventional persons, and Rahab, the town whore of Jericho, was an unconventional person.
There’s also something delightfully odd about the two male spies, who just before the conquest of the Promised Land, are sent into Jericho, and the very first place they visit is Rahab’s brothel, planning to stay the night. Rahab befriends them, hides them, lies to the authorities about them, and provides the information they came for. “They said to Joshua [later], “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands; moreover all the inhabitants of the land melt in fear before us” (Joshua 2:24). But it’s not recorded that the spies told Joshua that the Lord revealed this through the town whore!
What a woman Rahab must have been! Definitely not one of God’s Chosen People, she was a Canaanite, with no standing whatsoever among Israelites. In a biblical book about a man’s man, Joshua, and his bloody invasion of Canaan, this woman seems more in control. And this woman, when she listed family members whom she wanted saved from the Israelite invasion, didn’t mention a husband, only parents and siblings. No wonder in one of the world’s oldest cities she chose one of the world’s oldest occupations; she was the main bread winner for her family. Out of economic necessity, she turned to prostitution to support those she loved. In addition, this woman had street smarts, recognizing the hand writing on the wall and allying herself with the soon-to-be conquerors of her city and land. Plus, she was a bold-faced liar, therefore protecting the Israelite spies.
I am so grateful to God that she’s a whore! It makes it mighty clear that God loves all human beings, and that God can choose to use any one of us. In fact, this woman is mentioned in one of those “begats” about Jesus as the mother of Boaz who married Ruth, and therefore was the great-great-grandmother of King David (Matthew 1:5–6). Because of this whore, Israel gained possession of the Promised Land, and we gained our salvation!
Lastly, I want to mention what Jesus told the religious leaders in the Temple the week before his crucifixion: “Truly I tell you, . . . the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31b). That being said, I guess I’d rather be a whore in the Kingdom of God than respected by those who disdain the least of us.
Thought for the day: ALL are welcome! Thanks be to God!
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