Profile: Rahab

As the Israelites advance upon Jericho, Joshua sends two men into the city as spies.

Rahab, a prostitute, takes them in and, when the king’s guard comes to the door, reports that the two have fled. In fact she had hidden them on her roof under a pile of flax stalks.

Because of her faith, Rahab understands that the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the Amorites by Joshua’s army are sign of the living God.

Upon hearing the news, “our hearts  melted” (Jos 2:11 RSV), she told the spies—with love, with awe—which is why she undertakes the potentially fatal risk of harboring them.

It’s safe to  assume that in the melting of her heart, she gives up her life of harlotry.

When Jericho is destroyed, Rahab and her family, alone among the  inhabitants of the city, are spared.

Thus Rahab is the prosecutor to the woman with the alabaster ointment who waters Christ’s feet with her tears. “So I tell you her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But to the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little” (Lk 7:47).

May our own hearts melt as well. May we water Christ’s feet with tears for our sins.
Heather King

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