Rahab – The Harlot Who Received the Grace of God

Rahab – The Harlot Who Received the Grace of God

Scriptures – Hebrews 11: 31; Joshua 2:1-21; 6:22-25


The Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11 has an unexpected entry—the harlot Rahab. We read in Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.”

  • A harlot or a prostitute in the Heroes of Faith? Yes!
  • God’s grace transcends color, creed, caste, calling, category, etc. The story of Rahab in the book of Joshua is an evidence for that.
  • Rahab was a Gentile, Canaanite woman, with an immoral profession.
  • But she received God’s grace and her name was added in the Heroes of Faith—from the house of shame into the Hall of Fame or Faith.

Our sins and our follies are always wrong and must always be displeasing to the Lord.

  • God never condones or excuses sin, but He has made a way whereby sinful and failing men and women may find deliverance from the penalty and the power of sin, and that way is the way of faith – faith in One who shed His blood for us!

Historical background (Joshua 2:1-4)

Joshua, before crossing the river Jordan, sent two spies to secretly find out the terrain of the city Jericho.

  • Jericho was a heavily fortified city.
  • Rahab was staying close the city walls that made her profession easy.
  • The spies perhaps climbed the city wall and came to her house.
  • The king of Jericho came to know this and sent soldiers to her home to catch them.
  • But she refused to let the soldiers into her home, and saved the life of the spies.

Why did she do that? The answer is that she found GRACE in the eyes of the LORD!

The grace of God was evident in her life in the following manner:

A Working Faith (2:4-7)

She knew what was happening in the other side of river Jordan—Jehovah leading the covenant people Israelites from Egypt, and their journey through the wilderness, and their plan to recapture the Land of Promise.

  • She wanted to be part of the entire ordeal.
  • The Spirit of God was at work in her life to understand the truth of God.
  • When she understood the truth of God, she believed, and she acted accordingly—there were

stirring in her heart, seeds of faith in the God of Israel, which could not be ignored. A believing faith is a working faith!

Her lying was a sin:

  • In this passage, Rahab obviously was lying to protect the two spies, and that was wrong.
  • In this point in time, we must remember that Rahab, like any of us, was not She was commended and mentioned in Hebrews 11 because of her courageous faith and not her lying.
  • The Bible clearly tells us that lying is not acceptable in the eyes of God (Proverbs 12:22; Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 6:17).

A Believing Faith (2:8-11)

True faith believes in the power of God and wants to experience that power of God.

  • Rahab believed in the power of God that is able to defeat and destroy the Jerichoites and to march in victory to establish His Kingdom.
  • Hers was not just mere knowledge and acknowledging the power of God and wanting to be part of experiencing that power of God in her life, and in the lives of her loved ones.
  • Rahab, the pagan and harlot, believed God, and God counted it into her for righteousness.

This is true faith!

A Trusting Faith (2:12-18)

Trusting faith finds strength not in the mighty walls made by men, but in the Redeeming Love of God and the Graciousness of the Savior.

  • So Rahab made the request of saving her life and her family.
  • The condition was the scarlet thread (v 18), and she had to follow that.
  • She had to forsake her old religion and profession, and follow the path designed for her by the Lord.

Trusting faith demands us to follow the Lord’s way and will for our lives.

A Rewarding Faith (6:22-25)

When there is true faith, there will always be forgiveness and reception in the presence of God. For Rahab, God saved her and her family physically and spiritually.

  • First, from the destruction of Jericho (6:22-25).
  • Secondly, she also found a place in the eternal plan of God as her name appeared in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 1:4-5; Luke 3:32; Ruth 4:20-22).
  • Rahab’s son, Boaz, married Ruth and became the father of Obed, the grandfather of Jesse, and the great-grandfather of David.
  • Thus, a Canaanite harlot became part of the lineage of King David, from whom the Messiah descended.

True faith will always be greatly rewarded.


Can a sinner be translated from a house of shame into the Hall of Fame? Yes!

  • Colossians 1:12-14
  • Isaiah 1:18-20

No sin is greater than God’s mercy! The Lord Jesus Christ is the Scarlet Thread for a sinner to be saved!

  • Ephesians 2:8-10.


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