Saturday, March 30, 2013

Teens in the Bible: Rahab the Prostitute, Her Ties to Easter

Chapter 11 Rahab, teenaged prostitute

After the death of Moses, God told Joshua to get ready to cross the Jordan River and go into the land He was giving to the Israelites. He sent two spies ahead to look over the land, especially Jericho. The spies went and stayed in the house of a prostitute named Rahab.

Though there is no concrete proof of Rahab’s age then, we do know that she was a prostitute (a harlot) and therefore we can surmise that she was “old enough and young enough” if you get what I mean. So we’ll say she was likely a teenager and many scholars agree. But what a smart gal. The king of Jericho knew the spies had gone into her house and he sent her a message that she was to bring them out. She lied to the king and said that yes, she had received them, but they had left at dusk. The fact was she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.

So far it looks like she’s a conniving, lying, whore. But think, why would she hide the spies? The Bible tells us in the book of Joshua that she said to the spies, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you. Please swear to me that you will spare my family in the coming battle.” Like I said, smart gal. She’s another example of God using a sinful human (like every one of us) for good.

On the upside, Rahab and her family were saved during the battle because she tied a scarlet cord in her window. The spies had sworn an oath that if she tied that cord to her window then they would see it and all in her house would be saved. Here’s the best part: apparently Rahab found a better life, had a son named Boaz who married Ruth who had a son who was the great-grandfather of King David who was in the genealogical line recorded for Jesus in the book of Matthew. Check it out. You’ll find Rahab’s name there.

If this seems a strange post for Easter time, let me say a little more. You and I are just as dirty and sinful as Rahab. We need salvation. Rahab was saved on that long ago day of judgment by putting her faith in a scarlet cord, placed in a window. When the walls of Jericho fell, her house remained. While others in Jericho were dying, she was spared because she believed the Word of the Lord. Salvation was hers through faith. God singles out her faith in Hebrews 11:31, when He says, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not”.

That scarlet cord was an obvious symbol of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The only way to escape judgment is through simple faith in Christ’s blood, shed for YOU. He paid for your sins. Happy Easter. He is risen!

(Next Saturday teen Jonathan)

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