Rahab the ___________
Did you fill in that blank with her former sin?
I'm not the same person I was before Jesus got a hold of me. My heart was changed in an instant, and He has been steadily changing me ever since. Still there are people in my life who only remember who I used to be. It bothers me any time I'm faced with someone holding me to an old standard.
This week, as my church is reading through the book of Joshua, Rahab's name keeps coming up. What a transformation story!
I keep hearing, "Rahab the harlot," or, "Rahab the prostitute."
Why am I not hearing, "Rahab, Jesus' great grandma"?!
Check out her story in Joshua 2 and 6. This woman was wise. She was brave. She had faith.
She was likely not a prostitute by choice; there were only so many ways for a woman to survive then, and often they were shoved into lives they never would have chosen for themselves. She also lived in a depraved city where such things weren't even all that taboo.
But as word of God Almighty reached Jericho, where she lived, her heart was captivated. She had a longing for a God like that - a God who fought for His people with power. Not the gods she'd grown up with who only took from her and had no power.
This woman was full of fear when it was clear that her city would soon be overthrown, when a glimmer of hope showed up in the form of two Hebrew spies running from the authorities. She seized on the chance to serve the Living God and to make a deal for her safety.
This woman's faith was so powerful and life-changing that it is mentioned throughout Scripture and she is named in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11:31. She became part of the lineage of Jesus; her great-great-grandson was Kind David!
So this week, I just keep thinking how unfair it is that this woman who should be known for her faith, is called by her former sin.
Somehow as I stew on it, the comparison gives me some perspective. Even as so many refer to this woman by her former sin, they are focusing on her transformation.
Friend, our former sin is a constant contrast, causing the transformation God has done in us to be all the more visible. I don't see myself as the old me. But when faced with reminders of that bitter, angry, lost girl I used to be, I am all the more grateful that Jesus saved me and changed me.
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