As the people of Israel prepared to enter and settle in the Promised
Land, Joshua sent two spies out to get information about the large
fortified cities that would resist them. In Jericho the spies were
assisted by a prostitute named Rahab. Some scholars have noted
that her clientel must have been officials and nobles from the
king’s court, because she knew a lot about the Jericho army’s
movements and the socio-cultural conditions of the city and
surrounding country. Whatever the case, she seems to have felt no
loyalty to her own people, and seems to have been more than
willing to throw her lot in with the invaders.
But here is where she
took an immense risk. She was a woman with no power and no
means of supporting herself, it seems, other than to sell her body.
Yet, she trusts in the integrity of these two spies. If they had betrayed
her, or forgotten her, her life would have been over.
As it turned out,
they were as good as their word, and she and her family were
saved. She too had remained true to her word and had not
betrayed the spies. And the result was that she became part of the
nation of Israel, finally marrying a prominent Israelite man, and
becoming the ancestor of both King David and Jesus.
This story reveals the far-reaching impact that a life of integrity can
have both in bringing justice to others and in revealing God’s grace and compassion to others,