Rahab The Harlot

Rahab The Harlot and the red ribbon tied to her window

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Rahab The Harlot, a Gentile, is a warning and foreshadows where we live today, in a world of chaos. A world which is rushing headlong into the outpouring of God’s coming judgement.

Creation groans for deliverance. Only the few will be called and saved, as it was in the days of Noah. Rahab, The Harlot is a foreshadowing of God’s protection to those who believe.

The Two Spies

Why did the spies enter Jericho? Was their task to save a woman of faith, Rahab the Harlot? God saw the glimmer of faith in the heart of a prostitute. God reaches out to those who reach out to Him.

The two spies entered the house of ill repute, as they needed to remain anonymous. Many strangers visited the harlot’s house, two more strangers would go unnoticed.

Rahab The Harlot Had Remarkable Understanding

Many weary travellers found refuge in Rahab’s house on the city wall. They talked about many things, including the invading Israeli nation.

Rahab had a remarkable understanding and faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, despite living in a city dedicated to idol worship. The workings of faith remain a mystery in a world under the bondage and influence of sin.

Rahab heard tales of the crossing of the Red Sea and the mighty defeat of the Egyptian arm over 40 years ago. The strongest army of that time.

The Canaanite population feared the Israelites. Rahab had heard of the more recent overthrow of the Amorite cities, Sihon and Og. In her heart, Rahab acknowledged the God of the Israelites was the God of heaven above and the earth below. She willingly forsook the man-made idols of pagan worship.


Jericho was the central and most prominent place in Canaan for idol worship. Jonah preached to the city of Nineveh and the citizens repented.

The citizens of Jericho would not repent. They were bent on worshipping the female Ashteroth and their ancient moon god, Yareakh. Ashteroth was one of vilest and most abominable Canaanite gods. It marked Jericho for destruction.

The Spies Differed

The two spies differed from the usual customers who frequented Rachel’s house of ill repute. These two spies were witness to the power of their God. Jericho was facing annihilation because of its wickedness, so it seemed wiser and safer to back the Israelis.

The Holy Spirit and the written Word of God are witnesses in our world of chaos. Those who won’t heed these two witnesses will face the full fiery of God’s coming judgement.

Like Rahab, we make choices every day. Are we prepared to stand out from the crowd? The definition of greatness is what an individual does at the moment of crisis. Jael killing the army commander is a prime example of a woman finding extraordinary courage in the face of crisis. Esther is another woman who would not let difficulties define who she was.

Rahab The Harlot Of Uncommon Courage

Rahab, the harlot, displayed uncommon courage. If the spies were found, they would be killed. Anyone who helped them would also receive the death penalty, for helping them was an act of treason.

Rahab hid the spies on the roof of her house, covering them with flax. She was a businesswoman. The flax was for the manufacture and dying of linen, which is why she had red rope lying around.

The pursuers tracked the spies to Rahab’s house. She faced the king’s soldiers with calm assurance. They believed her coverup, that the spies were gone and the city gates shut. Rahab lied to save the two spies, but it was a state of war.

Rahab The Harlot A Woman Of Wisdom

The spies waited until the covering cloak of darkness. Rahab’s house was on the city wall, so she provided them rope. They climbed out the window and escaped.

Rahab was also a woman of wise counsel. She instructed the spies to flee into the mountains and to hide for three days. Hopefully, by then, their pursuers would have ceased searching for the two men.

Red Ribbon Protection

Following the spies’ instructions, Rahab tied a scarlet ribbon to her window. She called her family into the protection the Israelis had promised. They would be safe, provided they stayed behind the protection of the scarlet thread.

It was a large family. Her father and mother, all their brethren and all her father’s household. No room for luggage. It would have been quite a party. Many would have gone to the roof to watch the Israeli army advance.

The Israelis Are Here

The Israelites marched silently around Jericho for 6 days. To begin with the people of Jericho were afraid, but then they began enjoying the daily spectacle. Even the king of Jericho came to look.

Rahab and her family looked on with extreme interest. Here was their means of salvation. They were as puzzled by the Israelites’ behaviour as everyone else. The reputation of the Israelis preceded them. Other cities had fallen to this invading army.

The people’s fear grew into mockery as the days passed. Parties began, and the heckling grew louder and louder. Their gods were protecting them and they were behind the protection of the city’s thick walls.

Jeers turned to taunts. “Where is your all powerful God now?” Rubbish and stones were dropped over the walls onto the silent marchers, but nothing deterred the warriors.

Thirteen Times

The Israelis encircled the city 7 times on the 7th day. That really got the crowd hooting and yelling. They had encircled Jericho thirteen times.

The Israeli army stopped marching, shouted and blew their trumpets. The walls of Jericho fell outwards and hecklers fell to their death. Pandemonium reigned.

The population of Jericho was in chaos. The city walls were no longer their protection. The judgement of God was on them. They could hide, but the soldiers were under instruction to kill every man, woman, and child.

Only Rahab’s house remained standing. She and her family were safe, while neighbours were killed. Some of the family wanted to go out and help their friends. Rahab reminded them, the moment they stepped out her house, they would lose their protection.

Rahab The Harlot A Woman Of Faith

Thousands of years later, Paul called Rahab the harlot, a woman of faith. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, is the only other woman designated as a woman of faith. Rahab believed in her heart, confessed with her mouth, and acted on that belief.

Only four women are mentioned in the lineage of the Messiah. Two are Gentiles, Rahab, the harlot, and Ruth the Moabitess. Christ died and rose again, that all who believe can become sons of God. Jew and Gentile alike.

In 2014, Nicholas Cage acted in the film Left Behind. It didn’t show the half of what is about to happen. The film had a budget of $17 million, and grossed $24 million at the box office. A sequel, Left Behind: Rise of the Anti-Christ, is to be released in 2022. Turning God’s judgement into entertainment takes the fear out of it.

High Position

Rahab’s actions saved her entire family and household from the devastation that befell Jericho. The woman who had been a pariah to her family became their saviour.

Rahab, the harlot, knew the unfathomable grace and mercy of God, though her sins were as scarlet. She married Salmon, one of the spies. He was a prince of Israel, a member of one of the leading families. Rahab was a woman of high position. She gave birth of Boaz, who married Ruth, and ended up in the Messianic line.

Rahab The Harlot’s Voice

Rahab made a choice between life and death. She turned her back on the city of Jericho and its evil ways. Millions today refuse to accept the surety of eternal salvation, and they mock those who do.

A person’s past does not designate who they are. Rahab, the harlot, went from owning a house of ill repute to marrying and holding a position in the heights of Israeli society. God looks on the heart.

God extends his mercy to all, but he wants people to believe in Him. The Passover blood protected the Hebrews in Egypt. The red thread protected Rahab and her family. The red thread of redemption runs through the entire library of books, known as the Bible. That thread is the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Rahab’s voice speaks to us across the millennia, as do Hannah and Jael. Every woman has a voice of influence. She deserves to be listened to and respected in her area of influence.

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    Wendy is an Inspirational Freelance Writer specializing in offering encouragement to women in all walks of life.

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