Strange choice - 8 June 2021

By Ben Fourie

To have a prostitute in your family lineage is something most people would not like to mention. In Matthew 1:5, the Bible is completely open about the fact that far down in the family lineage of Jesus (about a thousand years back) there was someone with the name Rahab. Most commentaries accept that the Rahab of Matthew is the same as the one in the book of Joshua. One wonders whether there was no one better in Jericho for God to choose than this woman who was not even an Israelite (most probably a Canaanite) and one with a bad reputation to boot.

In the end, she is God’s choice not only to hide the two spies but also to see them to safety again when she helped them escape through the window. When one reads the whole of chapter two, one sees a picture of a very brave woman. She hid the two spies, fully aware of the fact that it meant that she, her father, mother, brothers and sisters, and their whole families might be killed.

Why would she do a thing like that? The answer to this question is to be found in the second part of verse 11 when Rahab said, “The LORD your God is God in heaven above and here on earth.” Where would she have learned about the God of Israel? The story of the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites and their wanderings in the desert was most probably known much wider than what one might think. Stories like that would have travelled all over the area as they tend to do today. Something in what she had heard about the Great God of the Israelites must have touched her, but even more important, God himself had touched and selected her for the role she had to play.

God chooses people to work for him irrespective of who they are. This also applies to you and me.

Prayer: Thank you for touching us so that we become useful in your plans. Amen