Thoughts on Rahab


We were reading the other morning, the story of Rahab the Harlot. Recall, if you will, the story of the Israelites as they were poised in the desert waiting to go into the land that God had promised to give them. It had been a long, hard forty years of waiting. Now the time of their punishment for lack of faith was up.
The first thing on their minds must have been, “What’s this new country like now? Forty years ago it was a land of plenty and filled with giants!” To answer their questions, they organized a small group of brave men to spy out the country a second time.
The first city they approached was Jericho. Now, one would have to assume these brave men disguised themselves as they wondered the streets to asses its strength. When they were satisfied with the information and nightfall was approaching, they looked for a good place to rest and unwind from their work.
Did they look for the Best Western or Holiday Inn or something of that nature? Oh, no!
Maybe it was because they were traveling light, and probably had very little money on them, that they looked up a house of ill repute!
That’s right , a whore house. But we thought these guys were really righteous. What were they doing patronizing a whore house? I guess they weren’t much different than a lot of modern Christian men who are out of town and on their own. A little sex to boost the ego before returning home.
“You’re just making some accusations that you can’t back up,” you protest. Maybe, but how many spies would enter enemy territory undisguised? None. How many smart spies would tell a whore their real ID? None.
So how did she know who they were? Was she just standing on the corner looking for her next trick when she spots this small cluster of guys coming down the street and she thinks, “Ah-hah! here comes a bunch of spies. I think I’ll try to corrupt them and get some counter intelligence.” Yeah, right!
Being a prostitute she has seen a lot of naked men, so when these circumcised guys show up at her bedside, how could she do any other than conclude that they were “one of them.” Rahab described “them” as the people God has blessed and “all of our men are shaking in their boots.”
I smile at the probable looks on their faces when they were “outed” by their penises! Shrivel city! No wonder they started witnessing… nothing better to do at this point. Rahab, at this point extorts a promise of protection in exchange for her help in getting them out of town safely.

That got me thinking about other Bible stories in which God used women in strange situations. There is the story of Deborah, the prophet who tried to get Barak to go after the enemy as God had directed. He wouldn’t go unless she agreed to with him. She did. They did. And when the enemy leader, Sisera, saw that he was losing the battle, took off on foot to look up his good friend Heber the Kenite. When he arrived he chose instead to go to the tent of Heber’s wife, Jael. She sweet-talked him into the tent, gave him milk when he asked for water, then hid him under the blankets. When Sisera was in dreamland, Jael pounded a tent stake through his head.

Then there’s the favorite story of Esther. She became a queen candidate through a nationwide beauty contest and a queen after the king determined that she was the best “lay” in the kingdom.

So here’s two examples of God’s people being delivered through sexual encounters, and one by a screwing with a tent stake.

I guess the moral is: God can use anybody!

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