Matins Devotion: July 27, 2023
Despite the fact that Rahab is famous for telling a lie, she is a fiercely honest woman, especially with herself. And, in a strange way, I imagine this is why Rahab ends up living the life of sin as a prostitute. As a Canaanite woman belonging to the Canaanite religion, she recognized that she didn’t have a god of mercy. She had gods that demanded the blood of the Canaanite children, gods of wrath and distance. She didn’t have a god of hope, a god who had promised to give her daily bread out of the goodness of his own heart. And so she didn’t have a god she could trust to provide for her. So she did what so many women in history have done when they had no other option. She gave into despair and told herself she had no choice but to debase and defile herself in order to survive.
But here in our reading from Joshua 2 today, God uses Rahab’s honesty to redeem her. Because honest Rahab perceives what’s really going on with the Israelites, how their God crushed Pharaoh and brought them out of slavery, how He’s given them victory over their enemies in the wilderness, how He’s in the process of honoring His promise to give His people back the land of Abraham as an inheritance. Despite the fact that her city and her people are facing destruction, Rahab doesn’t try to fool herself into thinking there’s another possible outcome like the men of Jericho. She sees the truth for what it is: The God of her enemies is the true God. So she’d better figure out a way to make their God her God. It’s this profound honesty that leads her to tell a holy lie–a lie that protects the lives of the Israelite spies in order to bring salvation to her and her family.
And so, in a moment, God turns soul-defiling despair into soul-redeeming faith. The honesty that once led Rahab into condemnation has now led Rahab into the arms of the God who not only washed Rahab sin away in the blood of Jesus Christ, but made Jesus Christ her own offspring.
So, when you look at this world of sorrows and pain, don’t embrace the honesty of Rahab the Canaanite. Embrace the honesty of Rahab the Christian. Don’t despair and tell yourself that the only way for you to get through the day is to escape sorrow by hiding in your greed or lust, your anger or despair. Instead, look at the world and see what is clear. The world is raging because the God of Israel has given you the victory that the world refuses to acknowledge but cannot stop. So see that there is no point in warring against Jesus Christ the victor. Don’t oppose Him. Embrace Him. Turn from your sin. Rejoice in His victory and see that the God you once called your enemy now calls you His child through the blood of Jesus Christ, your brother.