The Prostitute Confessions Pt.3

Finally, we have arrived at the last installment of the three part series—The Prostitute Confessions. In the most recent two posts of this series, we have looked at what the confessions of Rahab the prostitute (found in Joshua Chapter 2) actually teach readers about the nature and character of God. We’ve found that Rahab confessed the doctrinal truth of God’s transcendence and immanence which is of vital importance to maintain biblically (Joshua 2:11). Rahab also informed us of what it means to have a fear of the Lord and of the mighty works that He has displayed throughout redemptive history. All of the progress we’ve made thus far with Rahab’s confessions culminates in verses 12 through 21 of Joshua chapter 2—the passing over of Rahab and her family.

After revealing the fear that the Lord has produced in her heart, Rahab pleads with the spies to, “Please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives form death” (Joshua 2:12-13). Much to Rahab’s comfort, the spies of the Lord agree to grant her request. It is interesting to see how God works in saving a person such as Rahab, and it should quickly remind us of the grace that God has displayed to us through Christ. Rahab was a prostitute, and prostitution is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord,

“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life” (Proverbs 6:23-26).

Thus, Rahab as a prostitute is a fearful reminder of what human nature truly is apart from the redemptive work of Christ. The Apostle Paul once stated that, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). It is important to note that unless the God used His works to completely change Rahab’s heart, she would not have begged to the spies for salvation from the coming onslaught. This, too, is the same for us. Unless God acted first, we would not have desired Christ because of our rebellious sin (Romans 1:18-32). Just as the mighty works of the Lord inscribed fear in the heart of Rahab which lead to her salvation, I pray that reading about God’s glorious works in Christ will do the same for us.

Furthermore, as Rahab was helping the spies to escape out her window, one of them commands Rahab to, “Tie this scarlet cord in the window through which yet let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household” (Joshua 2:18). It was essential that Rahab listen to the words of the spies in order for her family to be safe. However, there is a profound implication to be gained from the tying of the scarlet cord in her window; it gives much insight in to the nature and character of God in salvation. We should be immediately reminded of the Passover that took place in Exodus 12. Just as the blood of the lamb was scattered all over the doorpost of the Israelite homes, this scarlet cord represented the same concept. In the same way that God passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt, so too would He pass over Rahab’s home during the Israelite invasion. Moreover, this should take our minds straight to the cross of Christ where Christ’s blood was shed for His people (Revelation 1:5). If indeed we are covered by the blood of Christ, the Father has passed over us in judgment and given us hope of salvation that is only found in the blood of Christ. Therefore, we may conclude with Matthew Henry when he states that, “Those who truly believe the divine revelation concerning the ruin of sinners, and the grant of heavenly land to God’s Israel, will give diligence to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold of eternal life, by joining themselves to God and to his people.”[1] Just as this was true of Rahab, I pray that it is true of us as well.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. Hendrickson Publishers, 1991.


[1] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Hendrickson Publishers, 1991), 293.

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