by Church Times

‘’ Now I pray you, swear to me by the Lord that, since I have shown kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house and give me a sure sign. And save alive my father and mother, brothers and sisters and all they have and deliver us from death’’ Joshua chapter 2 verse 12-13
Close your eyes and allow this absurd scenario to play around your head. Your son who has attained marriageable age emerges at your door step one day with a pretty, skimpily dressed girl in tow. Her blouse is transparent and taut, leaving nothing around her bosom to imagination. And her skirt is so brief that it takes only the visually impaired not see the stark nakedness of her endowments.
Before you wonder for too long, your son introduces the girl as Rahab, the girl he intends to marry. Bang!. I can imagine your blood pressure instantly maxing as your eyes flutter rapidly. At the first impulse you scream ‘’hell No’’. Then suddenly, you snap out of the reverie with your lips throbbing as you begin to thank God profusely that it is not a real life experience after all.
Rahab’s story in the bible ended on an inspiring note. But the woman is one character many of us love to hate and hate to love at the same time. She chose a trade that made her persona highly repulsive. She was emblematic of sexual perversion, dirty morally, basking in condemnable promiscuity. Only God knows how many homes she had broken with the snare she laid in the path of men.
She must have on her list of clients noble men in the corridor of power. Or how else could she have gotten that prime location to practice her whoredom. She wielded her influence to get the town planning authority in Jericho to allot her the space on the fence of the city from where she over viewed the outer city gate and surrounding landscape.. For Rahab , there was no missing potential customers as they moved in and out of the famous city.
The woman would have wrecked untold moral havoc in the city of Jericho, charming many men out of their common sense. But God must have seen beyond all her moral laxity and discovered some fascinating things about her. This was why God factored her in to His plan to visit the city of Jericho with vengeance . It happened that she played host to the two men on espionage from Israel. Considering the dire situation of these spies, Rahab had all the opportunity to fleece them of whatever cash they had on them.
She could have made brisk business off them by threatening to snitch on them except they agreed to pay exorbitant price to buy their protection. The city of Jericho boasted an efficiently nifty intelligence service . Within seconds of the men sneaking in, intelligence report had reached the palace –Joshua 2 verse 2.
So a door of epicurean opportunity was wide open before Rahab but she chose to plug in to the salvation plan of the God of Israel. She arranged for the spies a fool proof security architecture that bamboozled the rampaging armed security personnel sent after them. In return what did she ask for? She asked for a deal with the Israeli’s emissaries that saw her entire father’s and mother’s houses and all their belongings being protected from the divine ruination that gulped the city.
Looking at Rahab again from the standpoint of her heroics, one can see those hidden attributes in her that fascinated God. Number one of the attributes was the fruit of repentance which is very vital for everyone and every home. She became grafted in to the family of God and by implication she could not have found it decent to practice her ignoble whoredom again. In any case, She was now bound by the those commandments issued by God to keep the Israelites in the line. And there was no way she could keep the commandments without repentance. In fact, I would say she had become a new person.
The reason why some homes have permanently descended in to chaos is lack of repentance on the part of erring partners. Some men have stuck to their drunkenness and flirtations with strange women in spite of the huge damage these vices do to their families. Any time I walk past drinking spots in town and I see sea of heads hunched over bottles of liquor and plates of pepper soup, I shake my head in pity for their families. The feeling of pity is even deepened when it occurs to me that many women, including house wives are also guilty of such riotous indulgence. No doubt such men and women would have been driving their homes into deep mess. And worse, they would be courting the wrath of God. Yet, all they need to find their path of restoration like Rahab is repentance.
Beyond the fruit of repentance, Rahab also sported some fantastic virtues. She must have been a woman of foresight, insight and hindsight . By her foresight, she could see that Jericho had a very bleak future.’’ I know the Lord has given you the land and that your terror is fallen upon us and that all the habitants of the land faint because of you’’ –Joshua 2 Verse 9. Through Rahab’s insight, she had noticed that God’s hands were in all the winning streaks of Israel. She knew Israel on its own could not have sunk Pharaoh’s army in the sea. Neither could the nomadic nation have conquered the two kings of Amorite without the backing of God. It was her hindsight that made her to understand that the countries that fell under the boots of Israel suffered that fate because they stood in the way of God’s plan for Israel, at one time or the other.
How wonderful would our homes have been if all our women had Rahab’s kind of foresight , insight and hindsight. A lot of troubles, calamity and breakup would have been averted. And the larger society would have fared better. After all, we all know that the society is the reflection of our homes. Those unleashing heinous crimes on the society are products of homes.
A deeper probe in to Rahab’s life also reveals that she had a heart full of unfeigned love for her nuclear and extended family members. She seized the opportunity of the moment to secure salvation for her father’s and mother’s houses. This is where many so called Christians of today are missing it. They hold their salvation firmly but don’t care even if members of their family eventually rot in hell. Rather than preach Christ persistently to those around them and intercede for sinners in their families, they simply look the other way. Many Christians have even classified some people around them as beyond salvage. So they don’t bother to spare any thought for them either in prayers or soul winning initiatives.Pray, what would be the worth of your salvation on the day of judgment when those your beloved fathers, mothers, children and even lovers are condemned to eternal conflagration. Rahab stood up for her entire family. She brought salvation to all those related to her. Wonderful woman!
One more admirable thing about Rahab was her ingenious bargaining power. She boldly went in to negotiation with the spies from Israel and procured salvation for her people without paying a dime. Even Esther could not achieve this. It cost the queen two expensive banquets to secure a deal that sent Hamman to the gallows. Today, the economic reality has made it compulsory for women to possess the skill to haggle. Otherwise the smart sellers out there are ready to maximize their advantages.
A woman can only help her husband when she knows where to go to get good buys, when to go there and the right language to speak there.. That is what makes the power of bargain. A woman who lacks it would be a disaster to herself and home even if her budget for the family up keep is in millions. After all the bible says a fool and his/her money are soon parted. Sure, Rahab was not a fool. That was why God loved her. And that is why I love her too. With her repentance and joining with the people of God, Rahab would have been a reformed woman good enough to be any man’s dream wife.

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