Through providing us with the Scriptural accounts of His redemption of Rahab the harlot, God has made known that He wants to redeem people by working in their lives, as He did in her life. Six key truths about His desire to redeem people are clear from the accounts about Rahab.
God Wants to Redeem You from False Religion
Rahab was a harlot who lived in Jericho, a Canaanite city. Although we do not know with certainty what her prior religious beliefs were, the Scriptural information that we are given about her imply that she moved from a belief in a false religion to belief in the Lord as the one and only true and living God:
Jos 2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
God wants to redeem you from false religion, as He did with Rahab!
God Wants to Redeem You from Sinful Living
Prior to her encounter with the two Israelite spies, Rahab was a harlot (Josh. 2:1). After the Israelites had destroyed everyone in Jericho except for Rahab and others who were related to her in one way or another, Rahab continued to live among God’s people even to the time when the book of Joshua was written:
Jos 6:25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Had Rahab remained a harlot after coming to believe in the Lord, she would not have been able to live in Israel because the Law of God demanded that any woman who was a harlot was to be put to death (Deut. 22:21; cf. Gen. 38:24). Because Rahab continued to live among the Israelites for many years, we can be certain that she turned away from her harlotry at some point after she came to believe in the Lord.
God, therefore, redeemed Rahab not only from false religion but also from her horrifically sinful living! He wants to do the same for you!
God Wants to Redeem You for the Good of Others
God did more than just redeem Rahab herself; His redemption of her also spared her father, mother, brothers, sisters, and any others who may have been in “her father’s household” at least from destruction by the Israelites (Josh. 2:13; 6:17, 23, 25). Moreover, Rahab later married Salmon, a prominent Israelite man, and became the mother of Boaz, who served as a kinsman-redeemer for Naomi and Ruth (Ruth 2:1, 20; 3:1-4:22; Matt. 1:5).
Through His redemption of Rahab the harlot, God brought great good to many other people. He wants to redeem you also for the good of others!
God Wants to Redeem You for His Own Glory through His Son
Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ reveals that Rahab was a foremother of Jesus the Messiah (Matt. 1:5, 16). God ultimately redeemed Rahab the harlot, therefore, to glorify Himself through His Son who would be her greatest Descendant!
Even as He did with Rahab, God continues today to redeem sinners from false religion and sinful living for His eternal glory in the Church through His Son (Eph. 3:20-21)! He wants to redeem you as well for His own glory through His Son!
God Wants to Redeem You by Faith
The writer of Hebrews includes Rahab the harlot among the exemplars of faith whose faith he highlights (Heb. 11:31). He makes clear that Rahab did not perish because of her faith.
God redeemed Rahab through bringing her to believe in Him (Josh. 2:11) based on what she had heard about Him (Josh. 2:9-11). God wants to redeem you also through faith that is based on your hearing His Word (Rom. 10:17)!
God Wants to Redeem You to Do Good Works
Rahab’s new faith in the Lord led her to hide the Israelite spies who came to her (Josh 2; Heb. 11:31). Her faith was a living faith that produced these good works (James 2:25-26).
Through bringing her to believe in Him, God redeemed Rahab from her false religion and harlotry to do good works for her good, the good of many others, and His eternal glory through His Son. Through bringing you to faith in Him, God also wants to redeem you from your false religion and sinful living to do good works for your good, the good of others, and His eternal glory through His Son!