By Jaime Luce
Have you ever had one of those times where you have read a passage in the Bible many times but see something for the first time? Well I do, quite often really, and today was no different. I was reading Matthew 1 and right there in verse 5, the genealogy mind you, something just jumped off the page and stuck to my eyeballs. Okay well not quite, but it did feel that way. Anyway, since I was blessed to be born into a Christian home with knowledge of the Bible and those mentioned in it I was taken aback to see this as if I never read it before. I was very familiar with the person Boaz since my mother loved the story of Boaz and Ruth which I heard often. But today, and why it took so long to see I don’t know, but right there in Verse 5 we see who his mother was. Are you ready? Wait for it… I couldn’t believe it. Rahab! Rahab the Harlot! How would you like it if every time your name was mentioned it was followed by the title “Harlot”? Talk about never outrunning your past. I mean I can’t think of her any other way. Well, that was until today.
Now maybe you aren’t familiar with either of these people so let me help clarify. While the children of Israel had been delivered out of Egypt they had not yet possessed the “Promised Land”. In order to prepare to go and possess it Joshua their fearless leader, trained under Moses, was sending in spies to see what they were up against for this first city Jericho. While doing all this spying word gets out that they are there and they are famously hid by Rahab on the top of her roof. Now Rahab was not an Israelite but a harlot (see how I did that again) and in the midst of the fear that all Jericho was feeling she made a decision to believe what she had heard about their God. How he had opened the Red Sea and they made it through on dry ground, how their enemies were annihilated and now he was coming for them. She responded like most red blooded fearful humans would. She promised to hide and save the spies and in return they would spare her and anyone in her house when they came to destroy the city. All she had to do was hang a scarlet cord out her window and all of Israel would know they were not to touch them. Sounds like a pretty good deal. Sometimes the best choice is your only choice. Huh hum, well sometimes, not all the time. But in this case it was.
I always knew that her name was mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. And that her act of hiding them was a memorial to her but I have to admit that I never saw anything else that said she wasn’t just making a shrewd move to save her life. I mean really, we might all do the same if we thought we were going to die. So I never gave her credit for truly turning her life around. Then I go and see verse 5 “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse and Jesse begot David the king.” It’s right there in black and white.
So let me tell you why this is so amazing. The proof of her life change was seen in two specific things. One that she married an Israelite. She stopped with the harlotry and married an Israelite and then gave birth to Boaz. How do I know that she changed? Because Boaz was an honorable man. He was a man of great wealth and renown who had compassion and wisdom and a heart of generosity. He valued the law and the ways of God. He loved the one who was a foreigner, not an Israelite and she was destitute. This is the proof of a mother who raised her son to know the God whom she came to know who rescued her from certain damnation. This God she came to know gave her beauty for ashes. Her past was nothing anymore. She gained a whole new life free from who she was and living among new people with a new future. She had a complete overhaul.
I don’t know what you may have gone through or what you may be going through but you are not disqualified from the life God has planned for you. According to Romans 2:11 God does not show favoritism. He’s no respecter of persons. Jeremiah 29:11 Says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This is exactly what he did for Rahab and it’s exactly what he will do for you. Not to mention the hope we should gain by seeing our potential as mothers. God will be faithful to lead us and guide us in raising our children into men and women of honor. We don’t have to fear the dishonor of our past but we can hold fast to the honor set before us. Rahab’s lineage continued to the birth of Jesus all because she believed in the God of her salvation and let him change her life. So consequently all we have to do is follow her example. Today you can choose Him. Today you can hold your head up high and call on your redeemer Jesus. I like how King David said it in Psalm 121:1-2, who by the way was Rahab’s Great Grandson, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.…” Disqualified? I think not!
God’s got this! Do you have him?
It’s one of my favorite stories, too. I also knew she was in the genealogy. Isn’t she King David’s g-ma?
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Yes she was his great grandma.