Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Advent: Peace for Rahab

Big Idea: Rahab found peace, love and faith in the midst of war, and she was ultimately in the genealogy for the Prince of Peace.

Wartime Bride from the Red-Light District finds Peace

There’s something about the potential for loss and the desire for belonging in war that draws couples together. It has for many centuries.
Unsplash by Andres Molina
Over 3000 years ago a woman from Jericho’s red-light district was valiantly rescued with her family finding peace, faith and love for eternity. Literally. Her offspring from wartime marriage was Boaz, then Obed, Jesse, and King David of Israel. Ultimately, her line became part of the line of Jesus the Messiah.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Cue the James Bond music. This story began with two spies needing cover. They lodged near the city gate with Rahab, a brave, shrewd Canaanite prostitute. When gruff voices came to break her door down looking for the spies, she hid them on the rooftop.

Did previous clientele tell the amazing stories of the Israelites coming out of Egypt, or was she just impressed with their faith? After re-routing the city soldiers, she made a tremendous declaration.

“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth” Joshua 2: 9, 11-12 (NASB)

The spies agreed if she marked her place with a scarlet cord, with her family in place, they would be rescued.

The Day the Walls Fell

The day of battle came. The walls came down and it was like a bomb had gone off. The spies kept their promise and found Rahab and family and rescued them (Joshua 6). Years later it was remarked the entire family was still living with the Israelites.

Rahab married an Israeli named Salmon. Was he one of the spies who encountered this brave woman on the spy journey? Many Biblical historians have asked this same question. The Greek text in Matthew implied Salmon was princely.

The Family Tree

Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Matthew 1:5 NASB

In the ancestral tree from Rahab and Salmon, Boaz was born. His wife Ruth was also part of this lineage. Incredibly two non-Hebrew women were closely tied to the Royal family of Israel’s King.

Hebrews 11 is a Hall of Faith, highlighting Old Testament faith examples. Rahab, still referred to as a prostitute, shows faith changes who you are. 

By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. Hebrews 11: 31. NASB


Peace when war and desolation comes

Our war bride may have wondered when the walls came crashing down if she would be safe. Not only did she find safety. She found peace. The Prince of Peace.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:11 NASB

Up next: Advent: Joy for Ruth
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1. When do you feel a lack of peace or life in total chaos in your life? What grounds you and brings you back to peace? How well does it work for you?

2. Reflect today on Jesus as your Prince of Peace. He wants to be your rescuer. He will come for you like the spies did for Rahab.  He will bring you peace. Reflect on that!