For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9
Jericho was in a stir. Fearful murmurings of the approaching Israelites terrified its citizens. News of God parting the Red Sea spread throughout the region and was still not forgotten forty years later. The obliteration of the kingdoms of Sihon and Og revealed the utter destruction God’s people were capable of. Hopelessness prevailed.
Except in one woman. Despite having grown up in a pagan culture that worshipped a myriad of gods and endorsed all sorts of evil, Rahab the prostitute saw something in Israel’s God that made her believe He was the only One who could save her and her family. She decided she didn’t have to be a casualty of Israel’s invasion and sought hope rather than bowing to defeat. And God saw her.
Joshua, Israel’s leader, sent two spies to look over the land they were about to invade. The spies entered the city discreetly, choosing to go into Rahab’s home. Surely strange men going to and from a house of ill repute wouldn’t seem suspicious.
They didn’t realize, however, God had chosen for them to enter that house, the prostitute’s house built into Jericho’s massive wall, for a reason. God had heard Rahab’s plea for rescue and sent the spies to her.
When they entered her home, somehow Rahab knew these unfamiliar men were Israelites who needed protection and hid them under bundles of flax on her roof. The king of Jericho’s men came and demanded the foreigners, who’d been seen at her house, be brought out. Feigning ignorance, Rahab sent them on a false trail out of the city in order to buy time for the spies to escape.
After their pursuers were gone, she told the spies she knew the Lord had given her city to the Israelites and that the hearts of Jericho’s people were melting in fear. Then she boldly asked for protection, hers and all of her family, in return for her kindness.
They quickly agreed, as long as she guarded their secret and kept her family inside her home. So she let them down by a scarlet rope through a window. As they were leaving, they told her the oath wouldn’t be binding unless that cord was seen hanging through the same window when they entered the city. Instead of waiting for the attack, Rahab immediately bound the rope in the window.
That rope could have led to suspicion from her neighbors. If they knew she’d committed treason by harboring the spies, she and her family would have come to ruin. But her faith overcame her fears, and she trusted God to protect them while she waited.
When Israel did arrive at Jericho and proceeded to march around the city for seven days, Rahab surely must have kept a careful eye on that scarlet cord while reminding her family they must stay inside. Their lives depended on it.
After Israel’s army marched its final trek around Jericho’s city, the massive walls trembled and came crumbling down—except for the portion where Rahab’s home stood.
When the army charged into the city, Joshua instructed the spies to go into Rahab’s house and bring her and her family out. They found all of them alive, unharmed.
Rahab’s faithfulness led her to become a part of the family of Israel. She lived among them the rest of her days, eventually becoming the great-grandmother of King David, making her an ancestor of Christ. Wow. She’s even included in Hebrews’ Faith Hall of Fame, one of only two women named for her heroic faith.
God saw Rahab’s faith acted out through her obedience and saved her.
Do you wonder if God sees your faithfulness? Are you ready to give in to your fears because you don’t see evidence of His help?
The Bible assures us He sees. He strengthens the hearts of those who are loyal to Him. Keep trusting Him, no matter how fearful the circumstance. Allow faith to conquer your fears through the power of the Holy Spirit, and you’ll experience victory.
Carol Roper is an architect and writer who freelances from her home in South Carolina. Her articles have appeared in Guideposts Magazine, Guideposts.org, American Daily Herald and ChristianDevotions.us. She and her husband, John, live on a farm with their two children where they enjoy hosting friends and family around bonfires and watching sunsets from their front porch. Visit her at www.carolroper.org where she encourages women to build strong, godly homes one story at a time.