Welcome! I’m so glad you’re joining us for this fourteen-week Bible study based on Girls’ Love Letters from God. If you have time, you may wish to keep a journal to record your responses to the questions. Please DO leave comments, responses or questions on this post so that we can learn from and encourage one another.
Rahab: The Brave Girl
Read: Joshua 2: 1-21
So, I have a confession to make.
I sometimes run on the treadmill in my dressing gown. Wait a minute… make that jog on the treadmill in my dressing gown, or maybe it’s more like a trot… a slow trot.
I love my dressing gown. It’s warm, and comfy, and cozy. But, and here’s the thing, when my body warms up, and I finally manage to throw it off, I do SO much better. I even look like I’m running sometimes.
And when I wrestle that thing off my shoulders and throw it on the ground, I always think about the writer of Hebrews who said:
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
That’s just what our brave girl, Rahab, did. She threw off everything that was holding her back and ran, straight towards God.
And what does she find?
There’s God, holding out those big arms, waiting to catch her and lift her high into the air. Because God’s not just a God of second chances. God’s a God of third, fourth, and fifth chances.
We have a God who never gives up on us, even when we’re ready to give up on ourselves.
Rahab lived in the strong walls of Jericho, a fortified city that the Israelites were about to invade. We all know what Rahab did for a living. She’s the one who makes us tut-tut, even if we don’t say it out loud.
Rahab is the prostitute. But it’s so very sad that we remember her that way, because that’s not who Rahab is. It’s only what she did, for a while.
And really, who chooses to live as a prostitute, unless you feel there’s no other way?
When Rahab has the chance to escape from that horrible life in which she’s been trapped, she seizes it with both hands. She’s heard about this mighty God, this strong deliverer, and she wonders if this God can deliver her too.
Rahab agrees to hide the Israelite spies and in return, she asks them to spare her life when their army returns to the city. But it’s not just herself she’s thinking of. This brave, resourceful woman pleads with them:
Pledge to me by the Lord that you in turn will deal loyally with my family. Spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, and sisters, along with everything they own. Rescue us from death. Joshua 2:12-13
This is not a woman to be looked down on. This is a woman to look up to, to be admired.
This is who Rahab is:
A woman who believes in God.
Trusts in God.
Who loves her family.
A woman who risks her own life to save others.
Rahab is the brave girl.
One of God’s good girls.
That’s who she is.
And God knew that all along.
God knew it because God knew her better than she knew herself. And God was far more concerned with who Rahab was than with what she did.
Of course God celebrated and clapped and cheered when she threw off that old life and left it behind, (because God always wants the very best for us) but even if she’d chosen differently, God would still have loved her.
What a relief to know that God’s love for us is not influenced by our actions.
God simply loves us for who we are.
So this brave woman flings open her window and hangs out a red cord, a scarlet thread that will be a sign for the invaders of Jericho, a sign that tells them: save the lives of those living here.
And that’s just what happened. Rahab is saved, her family is saved. And thousands and thousands of years later, whose name do we find forever recorded in the lineage of kings? One of only four women named?
Jesus himself, the Rescuer, would be born from Rahab’s line. Just. Incredible.
When I think about Rahab standing at that window, it reminds me of Rapunzel, the fairy-tale princess with the long hair, who leaned out of another window and let down her braids so the long-awaited Prince could climb up to rescue her.
We’re all Rahabs. We’ve all done things we regret. And all of us, all of us, need a rescuer.
We’re all standing at the windows of our hearts, waiting to be rescued. And it’s never too late.
Because all of us, all of us, have One, who, instead of climbing up, came down from heaven, to save us, to rescue us, to redeem us from everything that we’re entangled in.
Friends, I don’t know what entangles you.
I do know that for me, it’s far more than my dressing gown.
But what relief, what joy, what hope is ours when we manage to throw those things off, and run, like Rahab did, to a God of Love who catches us and lifts us high and sets us back down on the road we were meant to travel.
It’s Rahab’s Road.
It’s Redemption’s Road.
It’s our road too.
We just have to walk it.
God, you know me. You know the things that entangle me, that keep me from being the woman you made me to be. Help me to throw off those things, that I might be free to run only toward you, my Rescuer and Redeemer. Amen.
Please share your response to one of these questions in the comments.
Questions for Reflection
- What, about Rahab’s story, encourages you the most?
- In what ways do you identify with Rahab?
- Is there something you need to throw off so that you can be closer to God?
- What is God revealing to you through Rahab’s story?
If you wish to spend more time on Rahab’s story, slowly read Joshua 2 & 6. Put yourself in Rahab’s position. What would you have been doing when the Israelites circled Jericho? After she was saved, how do you think her life experiences affected her roles as a wife, daughter, mother, and friend?
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