Every once in awhile a figure pops up in the pages of Scripture who just doesn’t seem to belong. They come from outside Israel but seem to have stronger faith than God’s people possess. There is Job, Melchizedek, Ruth, the Ethiopian Eunuch – and Rahab. This pagan female prostitute becomes an example of faith and is referred to several times in the Bible to show us what true faith really looks like. Where did her faith come from? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but we do know that God reveals Himself to everyone through nature and their conscience (Romans 1) so that none are without excuse. She had heard about what God had done to the Egyptians. Something in her spirit knew He was the true God and she responded in faith. The arrival of the spies was a god-given opportunity to learn more about Him for surely she had many questions to ask them. Rahab clearly believed there was a God greater than her pagan idols, and she chose to trust Him.
It’s one thing to choose in your mind to follow the true God, but often much more difficult to put that faith into practice. As a very young and untrained believer she found herself in a most difficult situation. She had to choose to be loyal to her city and their gods by turning in the Jewish spies, or to protect them and commit herself to this God of Israel. Either way, her life was at stake, and so were the lives of her family. She clearly stood for God, though, and her story of faith continues to use today. The writer of Hebrews (11:31), James (2:25) and Joshua all mention her. In fact, the only other woman given as an example of faith in Hebrews 11, the great chapter of faith, is Sarah. Clearly God is greatly impressed.
The great lesson from her life is that our faith must lead to action. It must be put into practice. She wasn’t seeking for what God could do for her but was alert to what she could do for Him. She was willing to loose everything, to change loyalties, to join a new spiritual family – even though she thought it would mean a life of slavery. That shows faith.
Her faith is also seen in her remaining loyal to here own Canaanite family. She has the spies include them in their promise of protection. She tells them they need to stay in her home when Israel attacks. They see the change in her as well. That’s what convinces them to join her and side with the God of Israel.
We, too, have many opportunities to show our faith by applying it to our life situation. If our faith is real and live, it will make a difference in our daily life choices. We have opportunities nearly every day to put our faith into affect. Look for those chances. Some will be large, others seemingly ‘little things.’ But they’ll be there. Remember Rahab. Put your faith in operation.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)