I have been reading a lot about you in the book of Joshua. Well, technically not a "lot" because there isn't a lot written about you and your life. The first thing I read about you was that you were a "harlot". The definition of Harlot is, "A woman who has many sexual encounters or relationships; a prostitute.
I am ashamed to admit it but the recovering Pharisee side of me wants to scoff and snarl my nose up at your past. It immediately ruffles my feathers and makes me say, "Well, at least I am not doing that with my life."
Gut punch. You and I can both look one another in the eye and admit that we do this when it isn't our sin front and center.
But then the spiritual side of me breaks when I read that short line about you, Rahab.
I wonder what caused you to go down that path?
Perhaps you never had anyone teach you about your worth or maybe you just liked the thrill of it?
Maybe you did it for money or for other unknown reasons?
Maybe it was an addiction and you liked the way it temporarily made you feel. Or it made you feel wanted and loved?
I bet it was a lonely road and one filled with lots of empty moments. I bet you wondered at night if there was more to life than the dead-end road you were on.
I want you to know something...
I don't think I am better than you.
I was the "good church girl" but I needed (and always need) Jesus just as desperately as you. I never chose a life of casual relationships and have only experienced intimacy with one man; my husband. I am glad for that and it is special to me that sex has only been experienced with my spouse but that doesn't mean I am a better follower of Jesus.
Listen closely: That doesn't mean I am a better follower of Jesus.
This doesn't mean Jesus loves me more than you.
My sin may not stand out as brightly as yours but mine is just as wicked. Jesus died for all sinners and forgives us of all our sins when we place our faith in Him. We've all got something we struggle with.
In the Christian community, we get hung up on other people's sins more than our own.
We scoff at the prostitute on the street but don't tell her about Jesus; the one who can save her and forgive her of her sins.
We laugh at the drunk man stumbling in town but don't once get him to a safe place and tell Him about Jesus.
We sit in our church pew while lost people are searching for someone to fill the void in their soul.
Heck, we sit on the church pew with religion in our hearts but no relationship with Jesus.
I am guilty of this. We are all guilty of these things. We are all sinners. Sin is nasty no matter what it looks like.
It is like garbage. No matter how you arrange it on a plate, it is still garbage. You may have a few apple cores in one trash bag and then have a trash bag full to the brim containing diapers and old food scraps. One bag might have more trash than the other but it is still ALL trash. It still stinks. It still needs to be hauled off.
And that is why my heart breaks as I write this. I know people who are lost and I am sure you do too. They are running and searching high and low for something to fill the void in their heart.
They think sex, drugs, relationships, fake religion, titles, money, careers, and other things will fill that void. They feel great for a short period of time and then the same ache of loneliness comes back. They need the next hit to feel a little less lonely and on the cycle spins until they are left feeling like a bottle floating in the middle of the sea.
God used Rahab to protect two of His people (Joshua 2) and she saved her own family from death.
Joshua 2:11 says, "And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath."
Rahab knew how powerful God was and asked the spies to protect her and her family from the terror that was about to occur. They scooted down a scarlet thread in her window to escape and Rahab left the scarlet thread in the window so they would save her house when they came back to destroy Jericho.
If you read ahead in Joshua chapter 6 verse 17 says, "And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent."
As they marched around Jericho seven times, Rahab's house was the only house that was saved.
Did you know that Rahab was in Jesus's family tree?
Abraham - Isaac
Isaac - Jacob
Jacob - Judah
Judah - Phares + Zara of Thamar
Phares - Esrom
Esrom - Aram
Aram - Aminadab
Aminadab - Naasson
Naasson - Salmon
Salmon - Booz (Boaz) (whose mother was Rahab)
Rahab put her faith in God. She was in the same bloodline as Jesus if you read on through the generations after those I listed above.
Hebrews 11:31 says, "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that belived not, when she had received the spies with peace."
What am I getting at?
It doesn't matter where you've been but it matters where you're going.
You may have a long list of past mistakes.
You may have grown up in church as the good "church girl".
We are both sinners. We both need Jesus Christ to save us from our sins.
I hope you'll trust Him, friend. Reach out to me! I would be glad to chat with you!