10 Bible Lessons from The Life of Rahab

The Bible is a great and life-changing book. It is God's gift to man and the best book anyone can ever read. The Bible reveals the person of God to us and also reveals ourselves to us. The Bible is a clear mirror, reflecting our true image and identity. 
 
Although the Bible was written by men, God inspired their writings as we read in 2nd Timothy 3:16. These holy men wrote all sixty-six books of the Bible as they were moved by God's Spirit (2nd Peter 1:20-21). The Bible is thus a supernatural book because God inspired the message. At the same time, it is a natural book because it was written by men in the language of men. 
 
The Bible was written for many reasons. One important reason the Bible was written is for us to learn from it (Romans 15:4). The Bible is a book that teaches, instructs and corrects. In the stories of the Bible, we can learn wisdom to live our lives, receive comfort, hope and direction. It is from this great gift to humanity that the life of a woman called Rahab is examined. As you read this article, you must know that like Rahab, the Bible has a compendium of female characters whose life stories are interesting and didatic. Rahab, being one of them could be seen as a minor character in the Bible whose life serves as a source of correction, instruction and reproof for believers today.

When the children of Israel were released from the bondage of Egypt by the mighty hand of God, it was necessary for them to take the land of Canaan which was occupied by strangers. They had the wilderness behind them and the great city of Jericho right in front of them once they crossed the river Jordan! Taking Jericho was not an easy task. It was going to be a forceful acquisition of the land. They needed help and intellectuals who would scout the city. Men were sent into the city as spies and there, their encounter with Rahab whom everyone in Jericho knew was a harlot and whose abode was in the walls of Jericho. Although it was a very brief encounter, much was seen to be learned from her.
 

 
Before we pick out lessons from the life of Rahab, it is important to know who Rahab was. From Exodus chapter 2, Rahab was an harlot in a city called Jericho who gave shelter to strangers from Israel and helped them escape from the King of Jericho. Well, you might be wondering what lessons are there to learn from an harlot, but you must know that this same harlot from a heathen nation eventually became a part of Jesus's lineage (Matthew 1:5). From the following lessons, you will see how an harlot could have ended up as an ancestor of Jesus, God in human flesh and the promised saviour of humanity.

Here is our compilation of ten beautiful lessons from the life of Rahab.

1. Faith in God Brings Salvation and Deliverance

The Bible clearly states in the book of Hebrews 11:6 that without faith, it is impossible to please God. God is the creator of heaven and earth, He is all powerful and the whole earth is sustained by His power. However, you cannot experience the power of this all powerful God and see His  power in your life if you do not believe in Him. Anybody that will experience this God or His power must believe that He exists. Rahab believed in God, she acknowledged that the gods of Jericho were no gods at all and their power was nothing compared to the power of the one true God. She acknowledged that only the God of heaven who was the God of the Israelites had the power to save and deliver her. In Joshua 2:9-11, she said to the men, "I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath."

This is a very important lesson that we must learn. Jericho was a very fortified city, it was a city with tall walls and great security and they had the natural resources to war against Israel, but Rahab did not believe in any of this. She had heard about the God of  Israel and she put her faith in Him. Man's greatest problem is his believe that he can live and exist without his creator. This is the root of all the sin and evil that man does. Rahab at this point was acknowledging the existence and the power of God in this difficult situation that her and their city was in. So, like Rahab, we must always learn to always look to God for help and deliverance in whatever situation we are in, we must remember that trusting in ourselves, our resources and our power is not only neglecting the power of God, it is denying the potency of that power to save us.

 

2. Rahab had the fear of God and obey Him instead of men.

The book of Proverbs is a book full of wisdom. It is a book that was written by the wisest man of his time - King Solomon. He wrote in Proverbs 10:9 that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear here is a holy reverence. A wise person is one who gives due reverence to God. Rahab surely gave God His due reverence. She acknowledged that God is to be feared and we see this in her actions. In the second and third verse of Joshua chapter two, Rahab chose to dishonour the words of the King of Jericho and save the men from Israel because she believed that God is the greatest King and she would rather fear and obey Him than fear her own King. She knew how to take sides. Take side with the King of Jericho who did not fear God and perish or take side with the one true God and be saved. If Rahab and feared her  king more, you will not be reading this article right.

3. It's Good to be Hospitable

A person that is hospitable is cordial and generous towards guests. From the book of  Joshua chapter 2, the men who Rahab helped and sheltered were total strangers. They were men who had never been to the city of Jericho which was Rahab's city neither did they have any form of relationship with Rahab. She knew nothing about them, their origin or their  background . Rahab helped total strangers! Today, we live in a world where people cannot help you if they do not don't know you or where you are from and what they stand to gain from helping you. Rahab by helping these men was actually living out Hebrews chapter thirteen verse two: "be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby, some have entertained angels unawares". Well, Rahab did not help angels, but her helping these strangers did not only save her life, it saved her entire family. As we go through life, we must remember that we should not just be good to only those we know, we should be good to as many people that we come across.

4. God's Power can Change Anyone

Many people would agree with me that there are not very despicable things like selling your body for money. Well, Rahab sold her body for a living. Yet, this kind of woman was the woman God used to accomplish His plan in the city of Jericho and God did not only use her, He saved her. In the book of Matthew chapter one verse five, Rahab's name appears again. But this time, her name does not appear as that of a prostitute but as an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Again, the life of Rahab teaches another very important lessin about God: if any man, no matter how sinful and despicable the person is will turn to God, God will transform that life and forget about the person's past. How terrible is your past? Do you think you are no good and God cannot use because of your past? Well, throw those thoughts in the trash can, God is a specialist in turning people's life around regardless of their past.

5. Being good has a Reward

Rahab's kindness did not only save her life, it saved that of her family and all their possessions. Now, please note that the lesson here is not to do good just with the intention of getting a reward for goodness, but the truth is, people are entitled to reap what they sow. A person who sows kindness will reap kindness.


6. Rahab was a Wise and Discerning Woman

Discernment and perception entails that one is aware of the times and seasons of his environment. As a believer, we must learn to enquire of God and anointed men whom God has placed over us about the situation of our environment, what types of prayers to pray per season and the type of attitudes with which we can approach life. In Joshua 2:9, Rahab says, “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror." [NLT]. Just like Rahab, every believer must be discerning in the journey of life. This ability to perceive ensures that the believer channels prayer power to the right issues every time.


7. Rahab moved with the flow of God's Power

God's power can be situation-specific and person-peculiar. However, it flows like a river and anyone can jump in and be a part of it. God's covenant was specifically for His people, the children of Israel, but this covenant wasn't rigid so it was okay for one to associate oneself with the children of Israel and be a partaker of the covenant. By her wisdom and discernment, she moved with the flow of God’s power. This explains why Rahab in Joshua 2:12-13 said, "Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families." [NLT]. This is also the reason why the believer today knows that the death, burial and resurrection of Christ happened for his(the believer's) sake. As Christians today, when we see the power of God at work, we're not to remain unmoved but instead, we must learn to always place a demand on the anointing that will in turn, direct the flow of God's power towards us.


8. Rahab gave her Resources to God

Rahab allowed her home to be an instrument of God's move. There was a royal notice by the king of Jericho that the Israelites were wanted people. Now, this was not just about being wanted, but they were wanted people who carried the presence of God! Therefore, no man had a right to lay their hands on them. Other Jericans(citizens of Jericho) didn't know this spiritual principle but Rahab did. She knew that releasing her resources for the use of the kingdom could never go wrong and she was right in that, herself and her family were kept safe in the end. In the same way as believers, we must carry the consciousness that because we have the Holy Spirit, no man refuses us of our demand! The olden days Israelites didn't have the Holy Spirit but they always experienced favour wherever they turned to even in a tightly secured city like Jericho! So, as a Christian, no matter how tightly secured resources seem to be placed in our economies, we must be sure that there is a Rahab in that strong city for our sakes.

Secondly, we must be ready to open up our resources for the propagation and spread of the gospel. Rahab's contribution might seem minimal but it was the redemptive medium for her family. We must be ready to release all we have for the kingdom because in this life, we can never out give God.


9. Rahab Obeyed Instructions

In Joshua 2:17-19, the men promised Rahab that they would return to her if she followed their instructions to leave a scarlet rope hanging from the window through which they escaped. Her safety and that of her family members was guaranteed as long as they obeyed. These instructions were basic  and easy-to-forget but her obedience to them were the saving grace for Rahab.

Today, we see believers who are perceptive enough to pray, know how to direct the course of their lives, are aggressive in jumping into the flow of God's power and are fervent givers and promoters of the kingdom. However, after all of these, words are spoken and action is to follow but these believers fail. They fail to follow the words pushing them to step out to work so that the sectors might open up to them, they fail to follow the words telling them to apply for jobs and then, there comes death. Their enthusiasm for life dies, their belief in God grows cold and they are left worse off. All the while not knowing that their refusal to obey was what cost them all the failures. Obedience to instructions is one of what makes a man tower high above limitations aside from prayers and words of prophecy.


10. Rahab lived a new life after Jericho's defeat

In Joshua 6:25, we read that Joshua spared Rahab and her relatives who were with her in the house, because she had hidden the spies Joshua sent to Jericho. And she lived among the Israelites afterwards. From this, we can infer that after Jericho's defeat, Rahab had the luxury of turning back and refusing to live with the children of Israel but she stayed back, ready to submit herself to God and His statutes and become a part of His people. This teaches us that all men are called out of sin to enter into the fold of Christ. We have the assurance of acceptance that Christ died for you and He is ever-ready to accept you and all that pertains to you as long as you're willing to take the first step of confessing Him as your Lord and Saviour. Christ wants all men saved but He will do nothing until you proclaim Him as Lord with your lips! [Romans 10:10]. We are called to be new men, living new lives like Rahab.


Conclusion

The lessons above are some of the important lessons to learn from the life of Rahab. Like Rahab’s, the stories of the Bible still speak to us today because the Bible was given to us for learning. There are many more lessons to learn from the life of Rahab and you only need to look deeply in the place of Bible study. While we hope to update this article frequently with new lessons from the life of Rahab, what lessons have you discovered in your personal study of Rahab’s life? We’d love to read from you - please share in the comments.


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