Though your sins are like scarlet...

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

a Bible Study about Rahab

by Alrinda Mulder


'Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. '

- Joshua 2:1

'“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; If you are willing and obedient,' - Isaiah 1:18-19

 

Here in the Book of Joshua, we meet the prostitute Rahab (Joshua 2 & 6).

Rahab is also mentioned in 'God's hall of faith' in Hebrews 11. Here many names of women and men are penned down for their steadfast faith.

All the women in the Bible that I have studied, every one of them has one thing in common: faith!

What is faith?

Well, exactly what Hebrews 11:1 tells us:

'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. '


The Nelson's Bible dictionary also tells us the following:

- A belief in or confident attitude towards God, involving commitment to His will for one's life.


We read and see that it was the great and steadfast faith of Rahab that saved her and her whole family's life.

When you read the entire Book of Joshua, you will see and understand that it is a record of God's promises and faithfulness towards His covenant people. It also teaches the believer to be obedient to Yahweh if he or she would appropriate or fulfil all that God has designed for him or her.

It is interesting to know that Joshua means: 'the Lord is Salvation'

When we read Numbers 14, we see that God had exceptions of who may enter the Promised Land. This is one reason the story of Rahab is so extraordinary. She and her family were not only saved, but they remained with God's people and so being adopted into the family of God's covenant people after they conquered the Promised land.

'And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.'

- Joshua 6:25

The story of Rahab just once again reminds us that Abba Father will and can use anyone, anywhere, anytime. No matter your background, no matter your past or your present as long as your heart is willing and if you have faith Abba Father can do bold and amazing things through you.


If you think about it, she was a prostitute and because of that; she held an even lower social rank than any other woman out there. Especially a woman with such a personal history. People looked down on prostitutes, they were outcasts and people did not trust them easily or actually not at all, but still, Yahweh chose her.

A beautiful sign that Abba Father's grace and forgiveness is extended to all and not limited by nationality or the nature of a person's sins.

It is here, reading the story of Rahab, that I, myself was reminded that Abba Father looks at the human heart. HE knows every intention of our heart...

When we read verse 4-11, we see that Rahab acknowledged the God of Israel, Yahweh, and she risked her own life to hide the spies.

It probably also was her first time to meet followers and believers of Yahweh in the flesh, because we know Jericho was a sinful city which served pagan gods. They did not know Yahweh.

Rahab surely is an unlikely hero, but we can learn valuable lessons from her story:

- God is not limited by your past, in fact, He will use it for His purpose and glory.

- Allow the fear of the Lord to be greater than the fear of men.

- Trust and believe that God always keeps His promises.

- God has a beautiful plan for your life. You just need to have a willing heart, be obedient to His instructions and faithfully allow Him to come and rewrite your story.

Just look at Rahab. She is the mother of Boaz, the husband of Ruth. They all played a very important role in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Royal bloodline. Wow!

Rahab means: 'broad' or 'large'

The scarlet cord that Rahab tied to her window was an emblem of the blood of Jesus Christ: our salvation, redemption and all the blessings of grace, but also justification, reconciliation and remission of sin.

I want to leave you with James 2:26:

'For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.'


*Please read Joshua 2.

Study guide

by John MacArthur

1) From what we know, Rahab was a willing participant in her lifestyle. If judged by society's standards, she would have been an outcast. What are some reasons we cast people aside?

2) What about Rahab made her the one that Yahweh spared?

3) Why was Rahab's involvement in the conquest for the Promised Land so important?

4) Rahab lied to protect and cover for the spies. Many say that God still could have accomplished His purpose, even if she decided to tell the truth.

What is your response/opinion to this as we know scripture tells us not to lie?

5) Something inside of Rahab made her respond favourably to the spies. What does the Holy Spirit prompt you to do that is out of character for you sometimes?

Love, peace and mercy be multiplied unto you and remember, without faith, it is impossible to please God.


Shalom




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