Friday, July 20, 2007

Women of the Bible? Who was Rahab?

Let's look at who Rahab is....

I. Character Profile:
Rahab, A Woman Who Believed The Truth

A. WHO WAS SHE? (see JOS 2 and 6:17-25; MAT 1:5; HEB 11:31; JAM 2:25).

B. WHAT WAS HER OCCUPATION? She was a "prostitute"- ishshah, woman: zanah, one who fornicates, harlot (JOS 2:1; 6:17,22,25)

2. WHAT WAS HER NAME?
Her Name Was Rahab, "insolence", or "fierceness" or "broad" or "spacious". The "Ra" part of her name comes from Egyptian idolatry, "Ra" the sun god. *this is from
"All the Women of the Bible", by Herbert Lockyer, Zondervan Publishers, pg.130.

3. WHEN DID SHE LIVE? She lived at the time of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, variously dated as @ 1400 B.C. or @ 1200 B.C.. The account of her took place @ 6 days before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, and somewhere around 2 1/2 weeks after that.

4. WHERE DID SHE LIVE?
a) She lived in Canaan- the land northeast of Egypt, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, Lebanon to the north, the Euphrates River to the east, and the wilderness of Arabia to the south; to the north was the Hittite Empire and Bashan, to the east were the nations of Ammon and the Ammorites, Moab, and Edom.

b) She lived in the city of Jericho
1) this was a walled city-state located west of the main ford on the lower Jordan River; it controlled the crossing of the river and the entrance to the land west of it.

The Bible tells us that Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert without reaching the Promise land for 40 years. After Moses died God told Joshua that he would become the new leader to fulfill God’s promise to his people, and he would lead them into the Promised Land.
So Joshua assembled the Israelites, and told them to get ready to cross the Jordan River to take over the land. Before they took over the land, Joshua chose two spies to check out one of the most wicked cities, Jericho.

There the spies entered the house of a prostitute named, Rahab. The Bible tells us that Rahab and the people of that entire region had heard about the power of the God of Israel, and that she and they were very afraid. Because Rahab feared God, she wanted to help the spies by hiding them from the King of Jericho and his soldiers.

Early the next morning the Bible tells us that Joshua and the leaders of Israel crossed the Jordan River in a miraculous way. God parted the water and led them through on dry land just like he did for Moses and the Israelites when they crossed the Red Sea to escape from Egypt.Then God told Joshua to do something very unusual. This is what he said:

"See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."

The Bible tells us that the Israelites did as the LORD commanded and the city was utterly destroyed. Everyone and everything -men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, and donkeys. Everyone except Rahab and her family because she had protected the spies and feared God. From that day on Rahab and her family lived among God’s people. In fact, the Bible tells us that she was a great, great, great...grandmother of King David, and that means she was an ancestor of Jesus! (see Matthew chapter 1)

God rewarded Rahab for her faith. We are to learn from her and emulate that behavior. But she, like us, made other mistakes. We all have to strive toward purity, and repent when we fail. We can learn from her mistakes as well as from her obedience.

As I get to know Rahab and her struggles I'm encouraged to continue in my day to day walk as a wife, mother, & woman. Rahab wasn't perfect, I'm definitely not perfect. For myself and others I know life is a day to day challenge in many ways, but I've learned from Rahab that faith, courage, commitment, obedience and God's grace are key factors to that day to day challenge.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

8 comments:

OldScot said...

Thank you for providing an excellent Bible Study I was musing about being a professional and looking for the worlds second oldest profession (consultant or lawyer) when I crossed a reference to the first and then your study. Rahab was a professional (vocationally by necessity) but morally righteous in her free will.

Professional in the world of customer service is to be without identity, all professional customer service representatives are interchangeable, and perform to the standards of the company they represent at all times. Professional as in Registered Professional Engineer has an identity (a resume) as well as demonstrated (tested) ability in the science of engineering and adheres to a code of ethics requiring primary allegiance to the State (that is the people) and the serviced Client. These types are indifferent to morality or God as required by our non-Theocracy.

BigTree_US20 said...

I really enjoyed this post. I originally learned about Rahab from James Chapter 2 (see here: http://niv.scripturetext.com/james/2.htm)

Its comforting to know that we can seek redemption through faith in God, and that he is a forgiving God.

James Chapter 2 reminds us that we should show mercy to all people - whether they are saved or not, whether they are holy or sinner. If we expect God to show mercy to us, then we should similarly show mercy to our fellow men.

Thank you for your post.

Jacquie said...

Joel Osteen recounted a wonderful story of Rahab and her descendant David, who became the King of Israel. The same David who slew Goliath.

The point Pastor Osteen was making was about the pressure of labels people put on us, and how the gifts God bestowed upon us truly lead us to manifest our destiny.

We need to throw off society labels,and live our our true destiny.

Brock said...

Totally saved me for my theology test...... I lost my notes on her and this site covered it all!

Aurelie said...

I feel encouraged reading this, in my connect group we have been focused on "the pursuit of purity" last night when I got home from church I felt an immense burden in my spirit to read the book of Hosea. It starts off with how God instructs Hosea to marry a prostitute and with reading more of the book it dawned on me that so many times before we give our lives to Christ we represent that undesirable, unclean thing that society often masquerades as beauty (the prostitues makeup Hosea 2:2) and then God see's that and you'd think He would reject that but He fights for us, He speaks to us tenderly and takes us in restoring us. I'm reading about Rahab now and I think it is really awe-inspiring and just mind-boggling that time and time again God says "yes I want you, I choose you." every single time.

Maryanne Tasi said...

Thank you for your service I never knew the story of Rahab I was given a task and i really enjoyed reading Joshua and the storyline of the promised land and the people in it. Its such a blessings that we can enjoy everyone's point of view about those who show Grace at any given circumstances.

Jayanthi Francis said...

Thanks for ur wonderful service i was given a task to speak about RAHAB.This message really helped me alot.

Jayanthi Francis said...

Thanks for ur wonderful service i was given a task to speak about RAHAB.This message really helped me alot.