This article was first published on ourchurch website
“Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” (Josh 2:1)
By the start of Chapter 2 of Joshua, the pace of the story is picking up. The war of wars is about to commence and with it, lots and lots of uncertainty and unpredictability. My observation, painfully learned through personal experience, is that uncertainty and pressure and well, circumstances like we’re facing right now with this Covid-19 outbreak, squeezes the heart and the true ‘hopes and dreams’ and true view of others comes out. Pressure can reveal a self-centredness that we never knew was there. Pressure can reveal an irritation with other people because they are inconveniencing us when we’ve got so many things to do. This is why chapter 2 is such a remarkable chapter!
We’re introduced to Rahab the prostitute. It would be so easy in the cut and thrust of a spying expedition to see her simply as an extra in the grand drama that is unfolding. However, that’s not what is taking place. Rahab is the central (human) character in this chapter and she is experiencing the grace of God in her life. Sam Storm wrote: “It would have been so easy to conclude that God had abandoned Rahab, to write her off as this immoral reprobate for whom there’s no hope. We must never conclude that someone is beyond recovery!” For those of you who know your Bible, Rahab gets a wonderful mention in Jesus’ genealogy (Matt 1:5) and another mention among the heroes of faith in the book of Hebrews (Heb 11:31). What caused such a dramatic and radical transformation in her life? Simply put, it was the grace of God!
She experienced the transforming effect of grace in her life. She tasted the reality that grace is outrageous, thankfully unfair (because she did not deserve any of its wonderful benefits) and that it was utterly satisfying. Oh, what a glorious picture of saving grace! She was offered a new life, free from the past, free from the world she had dwelled in and more wonderful than all of that, to live under God’s good care! Grace really is the most wonderful word in the whole universe!
Dear Father, thank you that in this story of Rahab, I see again your wonderful grace in action. No one, myself included, is ever beyond recovery. Thank you that your grace is able to make “beauty out of ugly things” (Bono), including the mess I make of my life. Today, would you help me to see and savour your grace at work in me! Amen