August 12, 2012

Rahab's Promised Rest

Joshua 6:22-25

Rahab … lives among the Israelites to this day.
—Joshua 6:25


We might wonder how a prostitute from a nation outside of Israel could receive what God had promised Abraham and his descendants. The Bible tells us Rahab was spared “because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho.” But a lot of questions are left unanswered.

How long would it be before she could feel at home in her new neighborhood? How long before the Israelites would accept her? We are not told. We do read, though, that she lived and remained “among the Israelites.” She received rest for her soul as she found a place among God’s people.

If “that kind of woman” can join God’s people, what will prevent other disreputable types—the proud, greedy, selfish, drug or sex addicts, miserable sinners of all kinds—from becoming part of the community of God? Nothing, if they and God’s people love God above all and their neighbor as themselves. Rahab did both.

What’s more, God blessed her beyond what anyone would have imagined by providing her a husband and giving her a child in the family tree of Jesus, born many years later as the Son of David who was also the Son of God (Matthew 1:1-6).

As we worship God today, let us remember that Jesus welcomes all kinds of sinners (Matthew 21:31-32; Luke 15:1-2). Praise God—he welcomes us too! We are all sinners, but we can be saved by grace!

Help me, a miserable sinner, to love you, Lord, and to embrace my neighbor with the compassion you have shown me. 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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