One chapter in the Bible consists of a listing of people famous for believing and trusting God It’s in the book of Hebrews, chapter eleven. You’d expect to find Abraham and Moses there. But you may be surprised to see a woman listed who was not exactly chairman of the Spiritual Life Committee of her church. In fact, she was a prostitute. Her name is Rahab.
Obviously Rahab didn’t get there on the basis of purity—but then, who of us could? Scripture says, “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (Hebrews 11:31).
Here’s the story. Joshua sent two spies to Jericho to assess the city before attacking. Probably in order not to arouse suspicion, the men went to Rahab’s house. Word leaked to the king, who demanded Rahab hand over the spies. She admitted they had been there but said they had left before the city gate was closed for the night. Actually, she had hidden them under stalks of flax on her rooftop.
That evening Rahab told the men, “I know the Lord has given this land to you…, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” (Joshua 2:9, 11). Then she asked that when they attacked they spare the lives of her and her family. The men agreed, and because her house was part of the city wall, she let them down through the window with a scarlet rope.
Rahab then gathered her relatives in her home and hung the scarlet rope out her window as a sign. Her family was spared and protected for the rest of their lives.
No, you couldn’t call Rahab “holy,” but she certainly was a woman of faith—faith that gave her courage to risk her life and earned her a place among the famous who believed and trusted God. In Psalm 87:4 God says, “I will record Rahab…among those who acknowledge me.” Now that’s quite an honor!