Daughters of Grace Series: Rahab
Last week we continued a study from the Daily Grace Co. called Daughters of Grace. We talked about the Hebrew Midwives and Mothers of Moses, their stories, characteristics, and what we can learn from their lives. This week we are talking about a story in the Bible that took place after the life of Moses when Joshua took over as the leader of the Israelites. Joshua sent spies into the city of Jericho and there they were helped by a woman of faith: Rahab.
If you would like a link to purchase the study we are reading from, click here. You may also head over to our Facebook Page and watch the live video from 1/18/21 if you would like to just listen to what the book reads and follow along.
To read the full story in the Bible, flip to Joshua chapters 1 and 2. I am going to hop right in to the discussion questions from this story.
1. What do we learn about God and His character in the life of Rahab?
The biggest thing we learn about God in the Rahab's life is that He is full of grace for us. It doesn't matter where we came from or what we have done in the past, God's grace covers it all. This story also once again illustrates (as many of the other stories we have read about so far) that when you are God's people and are living for Him, He will make provisions for you and He has a bigger plan. These spies may not have known how their mission would turn out but they were taken in by one of the only people of faith in Jericho, and it ended up being someone who on the outside would not appear to be a believer.
2. What character qualities, positive or negative, do we see demonstrated in Rahab's life?
- Proactive: I don't think that proactive is really the right word for Rahab but I couldn't think of another word that summed up her actions in this story. Rahab was a prostitute and did what she felt she had to do to provide for her family BUT she saw an opportunity to pivot her life, do things differently, and to choose a different and hopefully a better life for herself and her family. Rahab could have just kept going on with her life but she saw the things that Yahweh was doing in the lives of the Israelites and knew that He was a God to be feared, that Yahweh was the real deal (not the god that the city of Jericho followed). Rahab proactively did what she could to have faith and live for God even amongst the lowliness of the life she had led in Jericho.
- Intelligent: Rahab shows bounds of intelligence in this story. From hiding the spies and outsmarting the King to concocting a plan to help the spies flee, Rahab immediately jumps into action to help the men of God escape back to the Israelites. As I said before, Rahab already figured out how great Yahweh (to be differentiated from the other gods Jericho believed in) was and the things He could do. She knew that the Israelite's God was the real deal and she wanted to know Him. Lastly, Rahab negotiates with the spies to make a promise to keep her and her family safe. She knew that if she helped the spies, she would need them to promise her something in return.
- Courageous: turning your life completely around in the way Rahab did and then lying to the King to protect God's people is such a courageous act! Rahab was a prostitute. She was lowly even though she owned her own house and "business". But she decided to change her life and to have faith in God and then to help protect God's people.
- Traitor (for the bigger purpose of prioritizing God over other leadership): Okay, this sounds like a mean trait but the question does ask for positive or negative qualities. Even though Rahab technically was a traitor and betrayed her city, she did it out of faith to ultimately prioritize God over other leadership.
3. What can I learn from Rahab's story that I can apply to my own life?
- There is no sin too big for God to forgive. Rahab was a prostitute and was still living in sin when she decided to have faith in God. She wasn't perfect but decided to turn her life around and God forgave her and recognized her later in the Bible for her faith (Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25).
- You can always make the active decision to turn your life around and make a different choice. It is never too late to give your life over to Jesus OR to even just decide to start living for God better than you did the day before. It doesn't always have to be a huge 180 degree pivot, but you can make the choice to change wherever you are in life.
- Lowly beginnings can have great endings when God is in control. Rahab ended up marrying and having a son named Boaz. This means that King David would come from Rahab's lineage and later, Jesus would come from the line of Rahab. She had such small and humble beginnings but acting on her faith and following God led her to be in the lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5).
- God saves, uses, and redefines those with a past. Rahab is such a great example of a woman living in sin who is saved through her faith, used in the lineage of Christ, and redefined by her courage and faith in the Bible. God enables us to be known by our true name, not by our past.