Now that I've got your attention, you probably already know who this post will feature. Ms. Rahab of Joshua Chapter 2. She's the hero figure discussed in Joshua and also one of the only Old Testament ladies recalled and mentioned in the New Testament. This gal was noteworthy, not because of her saucy profession but because she stepped out and stepped up when God needed her the most. I look at Rahab's story and wonder how did a woman of that day have so much courage to hide spies who were rumored to be ruthless killers and save her entire family from certain destruction.
I may be reaching a bit here but I would say that God used Rahab's experience as a prostitute to bring about victory for His people. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that God condones the oldest profession in the world but I do think He can and will take anything we've been through and show us that nothing is ever wasted in God's economy. Here are a few things I think Rahab learned in her line of work that helped her change the course of history:
Rahab's job was to barter and negotiate with men. The fact that her home was in the wall of the city indicates that she was well off. It was prime real estate. Not only did Rahab wheel and deal with men to sell a service, she was able to get the most bang for her buck when purchasing land. These skills were helpful when a bunch of foreigners approached her to be hidden. She also had the confidence to send the king's men on a wild goose chase when they came to capture the good guys.
Our mental picture of prostitutes might be scantily clad women with heavy make up and large hair dos but I doubt Rahab resembled Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. The women of that day who worked in the profession had to be subtle and blend in with the community. It would be dangerous to draw too much attention to one's self - it could mean a stoning or a loss of clients if someone was caught in the wrong place at the right time. Again, I'm not condoning secrets and scandal but Rahab was likely prepared to hide a few men pretty easily.
Bravery and Strength
I don't believe any woman who sells herself or others does it because that's what she enjoys. I believe women enter sexual trafficking out of desperation and to escape what seems like a hopeless situation. Most women end up beaten and broken. Rahab likely found herself in tough situations. These dangerous spies were probably more benign than the men who sought to take advantage of her or her employees. She was trained to face her days with courage and strength. The spies required she let them down from the window with rope. Think of that! She must have had exception mental and physical strength.
Again, I'm not saying we'd all be braver, better business people if we took up sex trafficking. It just means God can use the worst parts of our resumes. Even today, law enforcement professionals will use some of the most cunning criminals to help them solve difficult cases. Cyber security firms hire the best hackers to protect computer systems. God is always in the redemption business no matter what type of business we've conducted. God didn't write off Rahab as a possible heroine for His story because she was sinful and dirty. I think He hand picked her BECAUSE she was sinful and dirty to show us we don't have to clean up first, He can use us right where He finds us.
It's also no secret that the first place Rahab's name is mentioned in the New Testament is Matthew. She is clearly noted in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Yes, a prostitute in the family tree of the Savior of the World. Don't we all have some unsavory characters in our own family tree? Aren't some of us THE unsavory character in the family tree? If God cared enough to include Rahab in the greatest story ever told don't you think He could use the family member that embarrasses you or even you with your embarrassing past? God can use all the lessons and skills we've learned along the way to bring glory to His one and only son.