August 04, 2012

Rahab's House

Joshua 2:1-2

They … entered the house of a prostitute name Rahab and stayed there.
—Joshua 2:1


Rahab’s house was the kind of place the Bible warns young men to stay away from. Proverbs 7:27 puts it this way: “Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” Nevertheless, after swearing to go wherever Joshua sent them (see 1:16), the Israelite spies entered the house of a wayward woman. We aren’t told why, but we do learn later that she had become a believer in God (2:9-11).

The gods of Canaanite Jericho had been getting credit for the rains on the land that fed Rahab and her fellow citizens. But the Canaanites mistook the source of the fields’ fertility because they lived in a land that did not honor the true God. As Rahab the prostitute had wasted her body, so the people of Canaan failed to honor the true God when they worked the land. Their whole culture had become corrupt. But still there was hope. It’s good to know that Rahab gave up the false beliefs and empty idols of Canaan and surrendered everything to God.

Today we have the benefit of more of the Bible’s story than Israel had in Joshua’s day. We know that Jesus came to save us from sin and has given us the Holy Spirit. But we also still sin. So it’s good to be reminded, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you … ?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). May we always seek to glorify the one true God.

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings and beginnings of new life with you, through Jesus and the Spirit. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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