Lessons from a Prostitute
But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. Joshua 6:25
At our local jail for Bible study yesterday, we read the story of Rahab the prostitute, who lived with her family in Jericho. Rahab and her family were the only ones to survive Jericho’s cataclysm because Rahab believed in God, aiding the two Israelite spies who had been sent to Jericho. She risked her life to serve God, who in turn, saved her and her family from destruction.
What strikes me about the story, is that though she was a prostitute – something considered a great evil by the Israelites – God used her to do His will. Though her identity was previously defined by her destructive lifestyle, she became known for her belief in and obedience to God.
I knew the guys in jail would like the story for the same reason I like the story: it reveals that God frequently uses those who seem (to us) to be lost. We often look at others, who struggle in ways we don’t, and tend to think they are beyond redemption. Certainly, a prostitute, inmate or drug addict cannot be used by God.
The error of course, would be to think ourselves to be better than the prostitute. As one of the guys in jail pointed out, when asked why He dined with sinners and tax collectors, Jesus insisted that it is only those who know they are sick who need a physician (Matthew 9:12). This inmate, though he was not glad to be incarcerated, considered himself fortunate to see his need for God. Jesus came for him.
The lesson of the prostitute, Rahab, is that none of us are better than and none of us are beyond redemption. We may think we are worse or better than another because we struggle differently, but we all need God the same and we all face the same choice to follow Him. As long as we draw breath, it is never too late to turn to God. Everyone needs God. The fortunate are the ones who admit it and turn to Him.