Monica Lewinsky. Tonya Harding. Rahab. Years separate these three women, but they have one thing in common – they each faced public humiliation. They are known for something they did and not the person they are. Monica is long gone from the white house and Tonya is still barred from figure skating. Rahab’s story, however, has a happy ending.
Rahab’s name is mentioned several times in scripture as Rahab the prostitute or harlot. (Rahab’s story is found in Joshua 2:1-24; 6:17-25.) She was a Canaanite who heard about God and chose to acknowledge Him and place her trust in Him. Rahab evidenced her faith, by hiding the two Israelite spies. By doing so, she saved herself and her family.
Do you know someone who can’t seem to get away from her past? Have you ever been treated badly because of something you did in the past? Have you ever been known for something you did and not the person you are? If so, the story of Rahab offers hope.
God uses broken vessels
The fact that Rahab was a prostitute did not stop the Lord from using her in a magnificent way – she appears in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5) and in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:31). God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours. In His eyes, people’s pasts do not define them. He looks at our hearts. We are defined by the choices we make when we acknowledge who He is and choose to serve and obey Him. We’re all broken in one way or another. God is the potter and we are the clay. He molds us and shapes us into the godly women we were created to be.
God does not hold past sins against us
Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” God has forgotten our sins and we are forgiven. He forgave Rahab and He is no respecter of persons. (Romans 2:11) He used her and He can use us to further the kingdom.
Rahab’s lifestyle did not stop God from making her an important part of His divine plan. Her story is one more illustration of God’s extraordinary grace. As Christ’s followers, we belong to Him. He takes our brokenness and makes us whole. Then He uses us to bring Him glory.
It is important to learn from past mistakes, but do not ever let them define who you are or who you will become. You serve a God who is bigger than your past. He does not hold your mistakes against you. Do not let anyone else do so either – including you. The next time the Deceiver comes, remember that he is a liar and there is no truth in him.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)