Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.Joshua 2:8-9 NIV
Rahab was a prostitute who plied her trade in the city of Jericho. She would seem like an improbable entry in the annals of faith. But she is. Matthew 1:5 identifies her as an ancestor of Jesus. Hebrews 11:31 lists her among the heroes of faith. And in James 2:25, she serves as an example of faith in action. What was it that Rahab did that distinguished her from all of the other inhabitants of Jericho?
Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, was poised to enter Canaan. Joshua had sent two men to spy out Jericho and the surrounding area. While the spies were in Jericho, the king found out and sent out men to capture them. But Rahab hid them and kept them safe. And for that, she received a promise that when Jericho fell, she and her family would be saved.
Faith in Action
Rahab told the spies that the whole country was living in fear of Israel, having seen their conquest of the lands on the east of the Jordan River. All of Jericho had an intellectual knowledge of what Israel had done and would likely do once they crossed the river. But only Rahab responded in faith, choosing to side with Israel and Israel’s God. And she put that faith into action by actively helping the spies, at significant risk to herself and her family. And so she became a model of faith in action. Of saving faith.