Rahab In The Wilderness

Read: Joshua 2, 5-6, Matthew 1, Hebrews 11

Review: Rahab was a prostitute in the land of Jericho. She had a house on the wall of the city. Before the Israelites went to battle Joshua sent 2 spies to see what was happening. The king heard what was going on and asked Rahab to bring the spies to him, but instead she protected them and lied, risking her life.

Joshua 2:8-11 (NIV) Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

So the Israelites were gaining a reputation. They were so feared that Rahab tells the spies their hearts melted in fear. As the Israelites prepared for battle Joshua reminded them they were to honor the promise made by the spies and they did.

Joshua 6:25 (NIV) But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

The next time we read about Rahab’s life is in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. Rahab was grafted in the to the lineage of Jesus, welcomed as an Israelite.

Record: Do you think Rahab sided with the spies simply out of fear or did something else play into it?

How do you think Rahab’s life was when she and her family entered the Israelite camp?:

Reflect: Rahab lived a hard life. When she was a prostitute, one of the only professions a woman could hold. She was unmarried, which was also something that isolated women at that time. Still, I can’t help but wonder if Rahab traded one wilderness for another when she chose to help the Israelite spies.

Her motivations could have been the desire to start a new life. To escape the realities of prostitution. It could have also been that she simply realized that God of the Israelites was a more powerful god than the one she had been taught about. Still, I don’t think she realized what she would be getting herself in to by joining herself to the Israelites.

Rahab needed to learn an entirely new way to live. She would have had to adapt to new customs such as what to eat and not eat, how to dress, and how to worship. She would have had to learn about the laws Moses taught the Israelites and how to live in a tent instead of high up on a city wall.

I have to wonder if Rahab ever regretted her decision. I wonder if she thought she should have ran and hidden instead of going to live with the Israelites. Sometimes our wilderness season happens as the breakthrough. We don’t know much more about Rahab’s life. She had a son who continued the lineage of Jesus. She was grafted in to the Israelite community and seen as one of their own. This is a beautiful picture of redemption, and it started in the wilderness.


About Beth Walker

16 years into marriage, 2 kids and several jobs later, I’m finally finding my voice. My prayer is that this blog will be a place where lessons on life, both on and off the football field can be explored. Thanks for reading!
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