Go ahead, try it. Name the seven dwarfs from memory. Can’t? You’re in good company. Hopefully, it also explains why the devotion series for August make sense. Each week in August will share a name of a biblical person that you may not know. But amazingly, they also served God’s purpose—each in their own unique way. Instead of Happy, Bashful, Grumpy, or Sleepy, you will hear names like Shamgar and Rahab. God help us to see who he has made US to be. Despite our flawed pasts, he uniquely gifts us to glorify him every day!
Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
When I was in high school, I had a teacher who said “One of the reasons I love the Bible so much—besides the amazing grace of Christ—is that it’s filled with broken people, like me.” I have never forgotten those words. And they still mean the world to me. I pray they do (or will) to you too.
I find it hard to imagine someone more broken than Rahab. She was a woman whose livelihood came from selling her body to be a “spouse for an hour.” That’s what a prostitute does. Rahab was a prostitute. Throughout the entire Bible she is called “Rahab, the prostitute” except in one place—the genealogy of Jesus. This broken woman who spent too much of her life in sin and loaded with guilt became an ancestor of Jesus himself! (Look at Matthew 1:5.)
What does this mean? The answer is simple: God’s grace smashes our guilt. God’s love completely wipes away our past. God’s gift of faith calls the most broken soul and conscience and says, “I am making you a brother or sister of Jesus now.”
Jesus didn’t just live perfectly for Rahab; he lived perfectly for you. The Bible says he was tempted in every way as we are. That includes Rahab. That includes you. Yet he faced it without falling. Jesus didn’t only die on the cross for his great-great-great grandmother Rahab; he died on the cross for you. Jesus didn’t just rise from the grave on Easter to prove that Rahab’s sins really were forgiven; he rose on Easter for you, to prove that your sins are forgiven too.
The Holy Spirit didn’t just come to create faith in Rahab through the message of the spies or whoever she heard it from first; the Holy Spirit came through water and the word, through the healing Gospel of Jesus to create that same “Rahab-faith” in you—broken, guilty, and despairing. The amazing thing is God didn’t just save Rahab, he used her to protect the spies. He included her in the family tree of Jesus. God didn’t just do that for her, he did that for you too. He intended to include you in his kingdom. He intends to use you in his kingdom, in ways that you can hardly begin to imagine.
God bless your week of growing, sharing, loving, and mending. PGFWABF (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!) ALWAYS!
Prayer: Baptized into Your name most holy,
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
I claim a place, though weak and lowly,
Among your saints, your chosen host,
Buried with Christ and dead to sin.
Your Spirit now shall live within. Amen.
(Christian Worship 294:1)