The Family of a Prostitute

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.  From Josh 2

The spies come into the promised land to scout it out and come back with a report for Joshua. They end up taking refuge in the house of a prostitute. I don’t know if they knew she was a prostitute or if they thought it would be a good hiding place or what, but that’s where they choose to stay. When the king of Jericho finds out the spies are hiding at Rahab’s, he sends men to kill the spies. But Rahab hides the spies on her roof under flax that is drying in the sun. She then lies to the guards and sends them away on a wild goose chase.

The spies are grateful for Rahab’s act of kindness and make a deal with her. When they come back and God destroys Jericho, they won’t hurt he or her family. They give her a scarlet cord to hang in her window and tell her they will spare anyone in her house when they come back.

I always love this story. Rahab’s life is a mess before the spies come. She clearly has sin and junk to deal with. She is clearly not “behaving” or following all the rules. She is hardly even someone you or I would choose to be associated with if we are being honest. But none of that matters to God. God cares about Rahab’s choice that day. She hides the spies. She gives glory to God for all the Israelites have done so far and tells them she fears God and believes He will help them destroy Jericho. And she begs for their mercy. And God loves that faith and that bravery in spite of her previous mistakes.

Pay attention here. Rahab doesn’t clean up her act first. She doesn’t get a real job, settle down, have a few kids, go to church, and then hide the spies. She just hides the spies. In that one moment when they knock on her door, she decides she is going to be about something else. She chooses to throw all her eggs in God’s basket and lean on him from then on. And God blesses that faith. He saves Rahab, and he begins a new life with the Israelites in the promised land. Later in the Bible, we read that Rahab is part of the lineage of David and eventually even Jesus. Let that sink in. Jesus willingly let himself be born into her family.

God didn’t let her sin define her. He gave her a new life. He let her sin and her mistakes be buried behind in the ruble of Jericho and He led her into the promised land to begin a new life with her God.

I don’t know what mistakes or sin or mess you are dealing with today…But I want to challenge you to leave it behind. Choose in, this moment, to be about something different. Be about God. Don’t let your mistakes define you any longer. Jump in to the lineage of Jesus and embrace His new life for you.

Thank You Jesus that you don’t ever let our sin define us. You forgive our sins and you let us be new people. You welcome us into your family with open arms. May we fully embrace You today.

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j and eOur blog is written by pastor Thornton’s wife, Erika. She runs our Family Ministries at Cornerstone and is also a busy stay at home mom. She is excited about seeing families experience God together in practical, life changing ways! Connect with her at or follow her on Pinterest.