Monday, March 31, 2008

Remembering Rahab

If Eve could be thought of as a good girl who gets a bad rap for bringing sin to humankind, Rahab could be thought of as a bad girl who gets a pretty good rap for courageously saving these spies. Oh, let me be clear, I’m not calling Rahab a bad girl – the Bible shows her as such. In Joshua 2:1, she is identified as a prostitute, or some translations may say a “harlot.”

Rahab was classified by her society as a “publican” which is to say she was at the bottom of Jericho’s society. In some ways, she could be thought of as powerless, forever branded by the city’s people as disreputable, no matter how badly she wished to change. In other ways, she could be seen as powerful. She knew many powerful men, but when they came to visit her, she was the one with the power. She had what they wanted, and she knew how to use that to her advantage.

She owned her own home, nestled up against Jericho’s outer city wall. She not only entertained locals, but travelers visiting the city or passing by it in caravans. This kept her aware about what was going on, both in town and around the region. She was probably among the first to hear about the Israelites crossing the parted Red Sea. She would’ve heard how they defeated the armies across the Jordan River. She knew these Israeli men were even more powerful than the Canaanite men she dwelt among. She knew from hearing them talk that the Canaanite men feared them and their God.

Their God had told them, “Everywhere you go, you will be on land I have given you … No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:3, 5). Rahab knew this. She tells the spies in Joshua 2:9, “I know the LORD has given you this land.” Then she utters the statement that reflects the faith that I believe saved her (and her family): “For the LORD your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below” (2:11).

Its interesting that Jesus later points out in Matthew 21:28-32 that harlots were quicker to repent, believe and enter the Kingdom of God than the pious religious leaders were.

So, we’ve established that Rahab was a woman well accustomed to dealing with men, including foreign men. She was good at negotiating a mutually beneficial arrangement with them. And she had concluded on her own that Israel’s God was the one, true God. Sounds like she perfectly fits the job description for what is about to happen in our story.

When the two spies arrived in Jericho, they went to Rahab’s house to stay the night. At first, it seemed odd to me that the men of God would head to a harlot’s house to stay but this was a place they would’ve been welcomed without much question. They would be viewed by others as just another male traveler staying with Rahab. Plus, God was leading them. He had promised He would not abandon them or fail them so we know that He was with them.

Only someone – the book is silent on whom, or how they knew – knew what the spies were up to and told the king about them. The king sent soldiers to go get the spies from Rahab. I once read that the law of the day prohibited men from entering a woman’s house without her permission. The soldiers were ordered to tell Rahab to “bring out the men.” It’s not entirely clear from the text if Rahab hid the spies and then allowed the soldiers in, or if they never in came in but only spoke with her at the door. I think that they never entered her home, much less searched it or her roof.

The spies, for safe measure, were hidden on the flat-topped roof in the dark, under the drying bales of harvested flax. Rahab claims to the soliders (meaning she lies) that she did not learn who the men were and she says they left the city just before dark. She effectivley sends the king’s men on a wild goose chase.

This is a spot in the story that bothers some Christian readers. Rahab lied. Isn’t lying a bad thing in God’s eyes? And it seems that is how the spies - God’s people - were spared. Did God want Rahab to lie in this instance?

I don’t think God wanted Rahab to lie. I’m certain that if He can cause the walls of Jericho to come tumbling down in order to deliver the city to the Israelites, which He did, He could’ve gotten those two spies out of there safely without Rahab lying. As we’ve concluded a few times already with the women from Genesis, God will use the free-will actions of people – both good actions and bad actions – to accomplish His ultimate will.

Rahab lies and throws the king’s men off the spies’ trail. Then she negotiates a mutually beneficial deal with the spies. In return for her hospitality, protection, city information, and belief in their God, they will spare her and her family when they come to take the city. A scarlet red cord hanging from the window of her house will be the sign to the Israelites to spare that household during the seige. Both parties remain true to their words and she is spared destruction.

Finally, Rahab is free from the society that branded her “Rahab the prostitute.” She is free to live a different life, and she chooses to live one that honors the one, supreme God. She married Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah. Then she gave birth to Boaz, who is the father of Obed, who is the father of Jesse, who is the father of King David.

So there is a former prostitute, a Canaanite harlot, in the family tree of Christ. That’s been a disturbing fact for some people. In fact, some religious scholars over the years have tried to redefine Rahab as an innkeeper rather than a prostitute. While she may have sometimes housed people without having sex with them, like in the case of the spies, the Bible is clear that she was a prostitute. For me, it is comforting to know that Jesus’ lineage contains a pretty racy sin nature. After all, the fact that Christ came from a long line of imperfect people gives me hope for overcoming my own imperfect family history.

God made an honest woman out of a lying harlot. He transformed this bad girl and gave her a good rep. I think that should give all of us a lot of hope!


So what are your thoughts on Rahab's story?

84 comments:

  1. I think it's pretty awesome that God uses, like stated, a family history of sinner to birth His only Son. I believe as Rachel said it gives us hope that we too can overcome our bad family history for Glory of God's Kingdom. As well as overcoming our own sinful nature's for the Glory of God's kingdom. How exciting!

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  2. Welcome home Rachel hope all went well for you.
    You have some great insights about Rahab as you have about the ohter women. She as a woman used what she had to strike a deal. Going against her people to go after the one she heard of being the Most High God, took a lot of faith. In James it says with out action faith is null, She heard about God and then she acted on it. There is so much that isn't said like how did she coax her family to believe they would be safe? Were they affraid? How did she know they wouldn't tell someone and get them all killed. She had Faith.
    And her faith obiously meant something to God she is one of only 4 women that are mentioned in Matthew in the Geneology of Jesus.
    I'm eager to hear others comments. Thanks always Rachel for your time.

    Lynn

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  3. Hi Rachel,
    I could use your help. I am trying to survey as many women as possible to find out what ten struggles they face as a Christian woman. If you have a few minutes, I would love your input on my blog in regards to the ten struggles that Christian women face. Thank you!

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  4. Wow! Awesome story! I do love that it shows we don't have to be perfect for Christ to use us! Hope your trip went well!

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  5. Rahab, what a beautiful woman just like Sarah
    But even though Rahab was called a Harlot, she later became a woman of such faith, she was faithful like sarah.
    She was also a industrious woman. She was such a devoted woman to her family and friends. I also see how clever she was.
    To which would save her family and herself. We cannot but admire her courage and willingness to risk her own neck, Also she had deep concern for others. As she hid the spies, her tribute to god's omnipotence and sure triumph over his foes reveals a spiritual insight that God grants to all who believe. we are not perfect but he sure believes in us.
    awesome God he is.
    welcome back rachel, I am sure everything went well.
    God Bless you all
    sharon/florida

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  6. What struck me about Rahab's story is how it could have been part of the New Testament...the NT is full of sinners/repenters/non-believers who have heard of &/or experienced the miraculous works of Christ. Here is a woman, of a questionable background, who has heard about God & the Israelites & has chosen to have great faith! She is going by what she "has heard" not by what she has personally experienced. The "deal" she makes with the Israelites is almost a mini-miracle, if you will. It's as if this "deal" will make up for her past...it's almost as if she knows in her heart this is the right thing to do. This must have been a very risky "deal" for her to make, yet she did it...again, all for the greater good.

    Also, her story is very brief, but does pack quite a punch, in light of the effects of her efforts!

    Looking forward to everyone else's comments!
    Pat in NYC

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  7. Great Story! It is so awesome how God could use a prostitute and how there is a prostitute in the lineage of Christ. God really can take our mistakes and use them to do great things for Him. Rahab had an awesome faith.

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  8. I love the story of Rahab, she was a strong woman who put her faith in God and I'm so pleased that she was able to turn her life around through trusting in God and His promises. What a lesson for us all. Hope you were blessed on your trip Rachel.
    Blessings
    Sandra - England

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  9. The point i am picking up is that society generally sterotypes a prostitute and we believe they can do no good or bring positive changes to other people and that they can not change for the better, however from this story we can see it history being written showing that a person can choose to change their life but you have to remove yourself from your present environment to accomodate the positive changes and it can happen but not without effort, fearlessness and determination and faith in the almighty.

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  10. All I can sy AMEN to this whole study and all who are participating and sharing and giving us all things to ponder and reflect on... HALLELUJAH!!!!!

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  11. I think she is great - flaws and all. The only thing that bothers me is, how you said, that we tend to get hung up on others flaws. I agree that at times we all get too judgemental over someones actions. Obviously, having her prior occupation and misdirecting (lied) the soldiers were not good things.

    The only one that had no sin was Jesus.

    I think the part that was meant to show in the story was her faith and how she helped the good guys.

    Bad courageous girl gone good. What a great story.

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  12. Thank you Rachel for doing this study. I haven't been able to stick with it, but I was able to make time today. I appreciate your thoughts on Rahab. Your closing point is very inspiring to me. Thanks.

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  13. I love once again how God is able to see the good in all and use those who are willing to allow Him to use them. What a mighty God we serve!

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  14. I love all your comments! Seeing how God can use anyone with faith ih him regardless of past sins or family history is a HUGE relief to me. We truly serve a god who loves ALL of us. I am thankful for His grace!

    Jeri in Holland, MI

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  15. It was good to read about Rahab again. So often, we forget about the importance a sinner can have. I really appreciate this study and your time Rachel.

    Dublin, OH

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  16. I like this story of Rahab. It helps to know that no matter what I do God can use it for something good. I like what christel said in her comments. Anyone can change that problem comes with sticking with that change. To do that you HAVE to remove yourself from your previous life and pray continually that you will not go back. I think people struggle because they think Christians are always happy and that they never have problems. This is just not true. We have faith that gets us through the difficult times and that is why we can rejoice through our struggles. New christians sometimes do not realize that. Rahab did and that is why she willing went with the Irsalites. I wonder how she meet and married Salmon. That might be an interesting story.

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  17. I've often struggled with the fact that the Bible does not do more open condemnation of the mis-treatment of women in the Old Testament times. However, the Lord does show excellent examples of how all women, even from questionable backgrounds, should be treated. The Woman-At-The-Well is an example, of course.
    There are so many other examples of God's compassion toward women. One of my favorites is when "God hearkened unto Leah", married by trickery to Jacob, who did not love her, "and she conceived". God blessed the unloved one with many children.
    Then, God sees the potential in this Harlot, and later gives her the honor of being mentioned in the Faith-Hall-of-Fame in Hebrews 11:31.
    I agree with the Psalmist when he says, "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion..." Psalm 145:8

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  18. I agree with Pat, I immedietly saw how Rahab had so much faith based just on what she had heard about God. To me she is an example of how trusting we should all be.

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  19. I wondered if 'diggingforpearls' wants everyone to respond to her survey or just Rachel.

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  20. I was awed by how God used someone like Rahab- I can somewhat relate to her, being used to do God's work, to ministering to those and I am a simple women who has hadher fair share of attacks from Satan and still God calls me child, princess. He is showing me how to break the genrational curses in my family as well, and well if he canuse Rahab, a prostitute- he can use simple ol me. Thanks Rachel

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  21. sharon sloan - I loved your comment (March 30) "just the fact that she climbed up on a roof impressed me". It made me laugh out loud.

    Thanks Rachel - you bring such clarity. I liked what you said about how God could have worked without Rahab's lying. It reminded me of how often I may have slipped off a lie without even thinking about it - no reason, just a lie that is now out there. Yet, God will accomplish His ultimate will. I'm so glad that you laid out the lineage and brought it to Christ. Wow! That sure brings hope for healing.
    Jo Beth

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  22. What a gracious and merciful God we serve. THis story ws right on time for me. It was so encouraging along with all of your posts and insights. It reminds me that no matter what my past has looked liked, God is able and willing to redeem me if I trust and surrender to Him. Isn't it awesome how the Father can re-write our future despite the sinful actions of our past. Thank you Lord, I give you all praise and honor.

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  23. Great insights Rachel. I love reading your comments. Your thoughts really make the reading more clear and understandable.

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  24. What a mighty God we Serve! No matter what or who we are God can use us and Loves us all the same. This lesson digs in my life and it lets me know no matter what type of life you came from (broken home, poor family) when God decides to move he'll chose whomever he wishes. Thank you Jesus for Loving a poor wicked and helpless soul like me. Now I am alive and living for Jesus and every chance I get I look back and shout THANK YOU JESUS for SAVING ME!!!!! Thanks Rachel for this awesome Bible Study I truly love and enjoy each and every one. Thanks to all that Prayed for me over the weekend God is Good! Nannette in NC

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  25. LaTonya-FLMarch 31, 2008

    I read it! I loved it! Rahab had such great faith. She also acknowledged the greatness of GOD which meant that Rahab knew about GOD though she lived her life not in HIS ways. I believe she repented after she and her family was saved. She went on to serve GOD and his greatness.

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  26. I was unaware that Rahab was an ancestor of Christ. It is really awesome to think he would use a "bad girl" in such an awesome way. Not only did she help the spies, but then she totally turned her life around. To me this story inspires hope for all of us sinners. And we all are, even if we never sold our bodies, we all sin.

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  27. Rahab's story certainly reinforces the concept that there is good in everyone. Jsohua's spies could have said, "She's just a prostitute. What good can she do us?" rather than trusting her.

    Faith can definitely move mountains or destroy walls. It will save lives.

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  28. There is so much I got out of this reading. One thing that really stood out with me is Rehab had only heard about the One True God and how he had bought the Children of Israel through the Red Sea and the battles they had won because of God and yet she believed but the very ones he brought out of Egypt doubted Him and they had experienced it for themselves. What a great testimony of faith. Not only is she in the lineage of Jesus she is also listed in Hebrews in the roll call of faith. John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Rehab was blessed because she had not seen but yet she believed. It blesses me to know that God can take a sinner and turn her into a saint. That lets me know that my past sins are forgiven and God can use me to His glory. As I read the comments from Rachel and the rest of my sisters in Christ my faith is increasing each day. Thank God for this study and each of you.

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  29. Once again, the Lord uses an unlikely individual to fulfill His purpose.
    Rahab reminds me of Queen Esther, how she risked her life to save her family.
    What would of happen if Rahab had not taken a step of faith?

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  30. I was struck by the fact that Rahabs family must have had enough faith also to make sure they were in her house. She certainly wouldn't have been dragging any of them there against their will.
    Had they all been waiting there for 7 days while all the marching around the walls was going on, wondering what on earth was happening? If her house was part of the walls then thousands of Israelites were marching around above her! And when the walls collapsed, her house must have been left intact or her part of the wall.
    It's interesting to "imagine" these stories and bring them to life!
    Jillian - New Zealand

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  31. Just thought, they were marching around the city, not on top of the walls!
    Jillian, NZ

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  32. Wow...Just as Jesus saved Mary Magdalene from being stoned, God saw to it that Rehab and her family were spared being part of the ruination of Jericho and its residents. This is some pretty powerful evidence of the forgiving heart of our Lord, particularly where prostitutes are concerned.

    The fact that Rehab assisted the spies in their quest, recognizing that thier God was the One True God; as well as her asking for the assurance of her family's safety, suggests that she was indeed a good woman underneath that veneer of prostitution. From there she went on to become the mother of Boaz, a man of tremendous wealth and power; as well as the great-great grandmother of King David. Hence, 27 generations later, her descendant was none other than Jesus, Himself!!

    What an exemplary affirmation of the Grace of our Lord!!! This should serve to strengthen us in our knowledge and belief that ALL things are possible through Him. And, even though we often get off of the narrow path and stray into the darkness of the wilderness, He is always there to direct us back to our path.

    What a wonderful and gracious God we have. All glory and honor are His!

    Rachel, I trust that all went well with your conference and that your eye is much better. My prayers are with you in this wonderful ministry that you have chosen to pursue. Thank you.

    Blessings to all of you,

    Karyl ~ Bonners Ferry, ID USA

    <*////><

    I did it....I finally caught up!! Praise the Lord!

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  33. A part of me wishes I hadn't given all my thoughts about Rahab when we were told to read it..I just had to say what I believed!!

    Anyway..when people in Jericho talked about Rahab, they probably whispered..he was a prostitute, a harlot; but a harlot with a destiny. She didn't know God, but He knew her. Why would He have picked a person with such a past to be in the line of the Christ if she didn't have a destiny? If we can say anything about her, the one thing is SHE WAS BRAVE. Brave to hid Joshua's 2 spies and cunning enough to keep from getting caught. She had courage, and whether she knew it or not..courage is built on faith and through all of this, she had faith and didn't even though it?!

    Courage says in the face of reason, "I will not quit"! She didn't quit because she didn't want her family to be destroyed, although she didn't know what the outcome would be. Courage embraces failure and breathes victory into it. Courage redeems the defeats and failures of the past, and uses them as a foundation upon which to build future successes. Her successes were her direct line to King David and Jesus!! HOW COOL IS THAT!!

    She would not quit or give up..That is what I took out of this woman..a woman probably so physically weary of being a prostitute that she knew only good could come out of this..and it did..Praise God for His Mercy and to allow a woman who had no lifestyle that was good, yet God used her to His full potential!
    Amen

    Please go to my blog..I want to thank all of you for praying for me today in the midst of a wild boss!! He was pretty much the same but I prayed all day and he finally left early. I have written something really cool about our husbands and loved ones. I would love your comments. Also I can't name you all but I am praying for you one at a time and I thank you for the same..God Bless you all!!
    Donna

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  34. God is so awesome! And there is such hope in this story. That He can forgive and forget our past is so amazing to me. This story is a great reminder to me that, in Christ, we are all new creations and when we surrender our lives to Him, He can and will use us in great ways.

    Thanks again, Rachel, for this study. And God bless you all, my sisters.

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  35. Rahab's life serves as an encouragement for all women that we don't have to be perfect to serve GOD. That no matter our past or background we are worthy of God's love and mercy.

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  36. Hello Everyone!

    Some of you have asked where I am.
    I'm still with you! I had a rough day at work and I'm really tired.


    I keep checking the progress of the comments and am enjoying your insights. Hopefully, I can comment later.

    Plant Lady

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  37. "Our God is an Awesome God, He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love, Our God is an Awesome God".

    I find it amazing that we would be studying this story of Rahab, a prostitute, at this particular time in our nation. The News media asking "should prostitution be legalized in America"? All because of what happened with the Governor of New York, prostitution is demoralizing, it splits families apart and wrecks many peoples lives....but...God in His infinite wisdom shows how He can and will turn any life around that has a heart truly open to Him.

    Rahab must have felt wretched, until she heard those stories about this All Powerful God, Who rules heaven and earth, I can imagine the stirring in her heart as it melted toward God and the longing she must have had to know Him and His people, and Oh how badly she must have wanted to be a part of God's people. Her faith was tremendous for God to have linked her with Jesus, and to have included her in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:30-31.

    "Great and Mighty is the Lord our God".

    I hope you will all join me in praying for our nation to turn back as "One Nation Under God"again.

    God Bless, Josie

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  38. It is comforting to know that God works his wonders using flawed individuals. There have been many times in life when I feel like a failure. Knowing that I can rise above my situation through my trust in God, gives me great hope. Rahab took a great risk hiding the spies but because she trusted God, she did what she had to do. As a result, God rewarded her and her family with safety. This is a lesson to me to rely on God and follow his Word no matter what the circumstances. He will reward me with his presence and safety, if I will put my full trust in Him.

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  39. Once again we see God use the unexpected. Just goes to show us how no matter what we've done, who we are, or where we came from... we serve a God that can do above anything we could imagine.
    Another great point of this story teaches us to never judge a book by its cover.. Something God is (again) perfect at.
    We should all aspire to make it a point to look at others DAILY through God's eyes and I'm certain there would be much more love and much less violence.

    Many blessings... keep living a blessed life!! Carol - Missouri

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  40. She lied that was my first note a sin God hates. As I focus more on her she lies for a living she is a prostitute. She was use to telling men what they wanted to hear. She has this same characteristic as those we have studied before, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, Leah (she lied when she came to Jacob as His wife). What makes her stand out in spite of her occupation and lies. Her courage, she is a risk taker more than that she recognized who God was. She didn’t know God up close and personal, she hadn’t encounter God but what she had heard about Him made her know that she wanted to be for Him rather than against Him. If only our testimonies today had such an effect on people. Through word of hearing about God’s actions Rehab learned to reverently fear God. Her faith resulted in such a great blessing for her, not only was she saved but her entire family, she is in the line of Christ. As always I have read her story before this time I took a little more time with her and she now goes down as one of those biblical persons that I will look to as an example. She has taught me who we are on the outside may not be who we are on the inside. We judge as I am sure many of us judge Rehab just because she was a prostitute never knowing her story. How often do we judge other women, never knowing their real story? Why was she a prostitute was that really her choice or did life leave her little other choice? She teaches me to take more time to know peoplebefore judging rememering we all have a story. What I most admire about this faithful woman She saw an opportunity-God came to her door and she didn’t miss Him. May I never miss Him again as I have so often in the past.

    Ladies I just started a blog and because you all are so insightful and honest- please stop by and tell me honestly what you think. I am just beginning to do some serious writing as God is moving me to do more ministries in my community. I would truly appreciate your honest feedback. Does it speak to your heart? If not, why? In what ways if it does. Do you learn anything? Thanks so much

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  41. Thank you Rachel for your insights. I am really enjoying this study and love reading everyone's comments!

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  42. Amen, Ladies! I too, find comfort knowing God can use us no matter what our past holds. HE has a plan for our FUTURE!

    I also like that someone mentioned "don't judge a book by its cover"... a good reminder to try to view others through God's eyes.

    I continue to be blessed by this study! Thank you all for your insights.

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  43. ginger- in mid IllinoisMarch 31, 2008

    Hello, everyone!
    This lesson was such a blessing to me- as it made me feel like God can use even a sinner such as I!
    And I love your comments, Rachel,
    that we can overcome our own family trees, and own family histories. WOW!
    Thanks so much for your insight- it always seems to make the ladies of the Bible seem more real, and the Bible more personal to me.
    Thanks for inspiring me to dig deeper in God's word, and keep up my prayer life!

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  44. Ilene in NDMarch 31, 2008

    I have been reading all along, just haven't been able to always
    post it. I am enjoying this so much.
    Ilene

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  45. This story shows the awesomeness of God in taking our imperfections and using them to bring good in His blessed plan. I do believe that Rahab had heard about the Israelites’ God, and she was anxious to free her family and use the spies to accomplish this. She shows a lot of courage and boldness in strategizing her plan. Somehow, I find myself being a big supporter of her!

    Welcome back Rachel...hope your weekend was all that you were expecting and I’m sure others were richly blessed by God through you!

    I feel led to share a prayer request with you all today. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been dealing with medical issues since an August, 2006 surgery. I had a bone graft taken from my right hip and fused in my right great toe to replace a failed joint implant done in July, 1999. To make a long story short, the graft didn’t fuse because of a serious staph infection which got in the bone through hardware used during the original surgery. I’ve had 4 subsequent surgeries, two rounds of IV antibiotics, two sessions of wound vac treatments, 40 (2 months) HBO treatments and several weeks of wound care treatments to eradicate the infection, without positive results. I stopped the oral antibiotics in January to see if the infection would resurface with conclusive evidence of its presence, and now three months later, the pain is becoming more significant and severely limits my daily activities. I saw the doctor on Friday and he has concluded that there is still a chronic infection in the bone and the toe and much of the first ray needs to be amputated. As of now, I will probably be having this procedure done later this week or next week. My hope is that the doctor can remove all of the infected bone without taking the entire first ray, which as I understand, would more adversely limit my mobility! Please pray that God will be glorified through this! I know God can in His infinite grace and mercy give me a peace about this surgery and the final outcome. I very much appreciate your thoughts and prayers. I’m claiming Romans 5:3-5...

    Thanks so much...Cari

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  46. In reading the story of Rahab, it shows me how God can use anyone. Anyone can turn their life around and give it to the Lord. It's not too late. All it takes is faith. God loves all of us and we shouldn't look down on anyone. I thank God for opening up my mind and heart. I thank Him for His mercy and grace. This bible study and reading everyone's comments is giving me a better insight on the Lord's word. Thank you God!

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  47. What I love most about all these women is that God still allowed their mistakes to lead to His ultimate plan. It reminds me that God is at work in my life, despite decisions I have made when I was far from God and/or when I try to guess His plan and "help Him along." What an encouragement these women are to me today!

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  49. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL,I LOVE THIS AND I THINK ITS VERY OBVIOUS THAT GODS WAYS ARE NOT MANS WAYS AND WE CAN NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND HIM IN FULL OR ALWAYS PREDICT HOW HE WILL DO THINGS OR WHOM HE IS GONNA USE.I REALLY LOVE THIS AND ITS JUST MAKING ME LOVE JESUS EVEN MORE AND I KNOW HE CAN USE ME TO START A HOLY BLOODLINE DESPITE MY HORRIBLE PAST.ISNT THIS AMAZING.

    CLAIRE,NAIROBI.KENYA

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  50. As I was reflecting on this story along with the stories of the other women we have been studying I am reminded of the story of the potter and the clay. With sin in our lives we are like the clay that is on the potters wheel it is not very pretty and it has no shine to it but if we will surrender to the potter (Jesus) to be placed on his potters wheel to mold us and shape us once he gets done we are such a beautiful vessel to be used for his eternal glory.

    Jean in New Mexico

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  51. After reading Rahab's stor,once again this is a example of making a decision to "help" God out....Rahab lying about the two spies leaving the city. Ultimately don't you believe that God would have protected the spies and Rahab and her family from any harm coming to them? I, too, wonder how God felt about her lying. There are circumstances that we will never understand...perhaps this is one of those events. Rahab's story also shows that God has the ability to step in even when we try to "fix" things ourselves as well as taking us just as we are......a prostitute.....Oh my, God is so gracious and compassionate. Those who believe God won't forgive or heal us when we are broken....that is the time He will step in and heal us if only we have faith and trust in His infinite wisdom. Everyday, I see an example of God's grace and His abundant love for us all. Rachel O. I pray you had a great weekend and that your eye is healing. I pray for you and your family as well as all my Sisters in Christ. Be Blessed and all of you have an ideal week...
    Jo Ann..from Denver, Co.

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  52. After reading Rahab's stor,once again this is a example of making a decision to "help" God out....Rahab lying about the two spies leaving the city. Ultimately don't you believe that God would have protected the spies and Rahab and her family from any harm coming to them? I, too, wonder how God felt about her lying. There are circumstances that we will never understand...perhaps this is one of those events. Rahab's story also shows that God has the ability to step in even when we try to "fix" things ourselves as well as taking us just as we are......a prostitute.....Oh my, God is so gracious and compassionate. Those who believe God won't forgive or heal us when we are broken....that is the time He will step in and heal us if only we have faith and trust in His infinite wisdom. Everyday, I see an example of God's grace and His abundant love for us all. Rachel O. I pray you had a great weekend and that your eye is healing. I pray for you and your family as well as all my Sisters in Christ. Be Blessed and all of you have an ideal week...
    Jo Ann..from Denver, Co.

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  53. Some commentaries state that Rahab appears to have been an innkeeper and "if she had formerly been of bad life, which is doubtful, she had left her evil courses."
    Something to think about and maybe do a little research on.

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  54. Hi Everyone,

    First, I would like to send a special ‘Thank you’ to Rachel. Although I have been a Christian my entire life, I don’t think I’ve ever learned more in such a short period of time. Through your sharing your special insight with all of us, I believe each one of us is seeing the women we study in a completely new light... as real flesh and blood people, and not just characters in a fairytale.

    When I read the story of Rahab this time, I noticed a few things that I never noticed before. I never realized that God parted a large body of water (during flood season) twice, first the Red Sea for Moses and those who died in the desert, and then the Jordan for Joshua and the generation of Israelites who were too young to remember the first crossing.

    Another thing I noticed, was that out of all the prostitutes in Jericho, Joshua’s men went to Rahab’s house. That means Joshua had to have known about her and his men had to have known about her as well and they knew where to find her. On top of that, the king of Jericho knew about her, where to find her, and who was with her that particular day. This tells me that although she might have been hovering around the bottom of Jericho’s social ladder, she must have had a lot of influence with some pretty important men.

    The final thought I had was about after Rahab left Jericho and went to live with the Israelites. Rahab was a Canaanite. The Israelites didn’t care much for the Canaanites. Back in Gen. 24 - when we were reading about Rebekah, we learned how Abraham didn’t think there were any Canaanite women worthy of his son. Again in Gen. 28 - Isaac expressed the same sentiment. Yet this woman, who was looked down upon by other Canaanite women would marry a descendant of Judah and later become the great-great grand mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.

    Wow!
    Elizabeth - blown away in Maryland

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  55. Cari....I lift you up to God and pray for a successful procedure this week. He is the Great Physician and know He will be there with you, guiding the physician's hands . Continue to keep God first in your life and know He loves you and will comfort you even when you're in pain. Focus on Him and try to not focus on the pain. I have so much faith and trust in God...I know He will protect you while you go through this difficulty. God is amazing and please just surrender everything to Him....He will bring you through,,,To all my other sisters, Dana, Plant Lady, Sweatpea, Emily and all who are going through difficuties...I have you on my prayer list and keep pressing forward....God hears all our prayers and He will turn everything around. GOD bless you all! Jo Ann here in Denver, Colorado

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  56. Rachel, thanks again! This study is doing wonderful things, I am learning so much. I find that I also learn as I write my thoughts down. This is a good way to kick-start my journaling again!

    God is teaching me about faith lately, and that righteousness does not come by what I do, but by faith. This story confirms to me that God is indeed teaching me about righteousness by faith because I'm "running into it" here and there. I was reading my son's devotions with him last night and I read in a kid's version of the Bible that "...being right with God does not come from the law. It comes because I believe in Christ. It comes from God. It is received by faith." Phil.3:9.

    I am saved because I trust (have faith in) God. I inherit promises of God because I look to God and believe that He will bring those things to pass (faith).

    Rahab used sex to make money, but despite it being so degrading, she chose to look beyond herself and have faith in what she heard about in the God of the Isrealites. It saved her and her loved ones. God was pleased with her faith (trust)and chose her to be in the lineage of Christ. God seems to use people's faith to bring about victory in their own lives and others.

    O God, increase my faith! I don't want to miss out on what You have in store for me, and I don't want others to miss out because of lack of faith on my part. Forgive me for being so short-sighted and think that things depend on my husband or others for it to come to pass.


    To "jn14god"(Lynn)- Just thought I'd let you know that I love your comments and read your blog sometimes. I would leave a comment there, but because I don't have a blog I can't leave a comment on yours. (One day I'll get one!). I too wondered if this is how this Bible study is suppose to be going with sometimes it going in many different directions, but I also felt that this is of God. I know that I am gaining a lot.

    Cari- praying for healing for your toe, and for God's peace to reign. There are so many healing verses in the Bible, look them up in the concordance and claim them! 1 Peter 2:24 "by His wounds you are healed." Ex. 15:26 "..for I am the Lord, who heals you." Mt. 9:22 "your faith has healed you."

    Connie - Canada

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  57. hey girls havent been able to leave comments latley but i have been reading along. What great things im learning, this study is bringing the women in the bible to life for me. I'm praying for each one of you.

    SOme of you are talking about your blogs how to i find them?

    Cassandra from Virginia

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  58. I think they were sent to Rahab's house not only for protection but also to bring her to salvation.

    Nothing is a chance with God.

    She reminds me of an OT version of the woman at the well or of Mary Magdalene;both were trapped in unseemly lifestyles and both were used of God in mighty ways.

    Glad to hear that God was in the midst during your recent trip.

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  59. I'm glad to hear that everything worked out this weekend for you Rachel! As we know prayer works!

    Rahab, wow! I love the fact that she was a woman of strength. Most of the time you read men taking care of business, Rahab made sure her whole family was protected. The word says nothing about her having children of her own, she was taking care of herself and seems like living on her own making a living (not the way I would chose but...)she could have turned her back on her family and just saved herself, I'm sure dad & mom weren't excited about her profession, but she made sure the whole family was taken care of. God took what was meant for bad and made it for good! God is a good good God and the devil is a bad bad devil! The devil looses everytime!

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  60. Again, I'm filled with gratitude that God does not require us to be perfect, just humble and willing.

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  61. I think Rahab was smart and brave. She kept her ears open when people talked. Just by listening she realized how great God was. I'm glad God uses sinners to further his kingdom. This gives me great hope. How great is our God!

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  62. Thanks, Rachel and all, for the many comments and perspectives, prayer requests and praise reports. Thinking again about Rahab I’m struck by how God looks at the heart, and His ways are certainly not “our” ways. We are so often quick to judge, and ready to control and create “our own logical” solutions or pathways. Here we can see once again that the Lord uses those who seem least likely to be His messengers. And reminder, Rahab didn’t lie to God; her heart was sincere, her faith and belief in what she had heard about Him was true. I guess she’d seen enough of how human beings live, and thankfully she found God to bring salvation to her and her family who joined her.

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  63. Wow. Who could ask for more proof that our sins are forgiven. Rahab received forgiveness based on her faith. My faith is renewed.

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  64. The story of Rahab is such a good one. God used someone to be a part of a grand plan; someone who was not worth much in society's eyes. Hmmm...if he can do that with Rahab, then....

    I agree with you, Rachel. It does give me comfort to know that Rahab is in Jesus' lineage. She was a strong and courageous woman. What she did could have cost her and her whole family their lives, yet she hid the spies anyway. Talk about stepping up to the plate with your faith! :)

    And yes, she may have lied, but you have to look at who she had been for so very long. When you make the choice to accept Jesus, you don't all the sudden act like a mature Christian who never sins. I kind of think she acted out of her flesh in the heat of the moment; she wanted to protect her family; and she lied because it was the only thing she knew to do at that moment.

    Thanks again, Rachel!

    Prayers and Blessings!
    Rebecca

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  65. We really don't know the prayers that Rahab had been praying do we. I am always brought back to that place to think that only God knows our prayers, and maybe Rahab had been praying to God to give her a way out of her profession. After all, of all the places the spies could have gone Joshua specifically told them to go to her house. God must have spoken that to him, and why her of all the other people in the city? I think this is evident in how after the walls fall and everything is destroyed what is her response? She leaves and rights herself and gets married and settles down. She doesnt contimue with what she had been doing. This really is the character of God and should be our response to his loving kindness.

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  66. Welcome back Rachel may the Lord forever bless you and your family and also this beautiful Ministry. I love the God we serve He loves to change ugly into beauty and is demonstrated in some or maybe all the women we have read about. It is true when we come to Him we become a new creation. Rahab heard about Joshua's God and was interested to be part of Joshua's God she wanted a change and she got it. She was saved and her family too.

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  67. Crissi in WashingtonApril 01, 2008

    I am thankful to have this story and that the bible tells us what and who Rahab WAS before she came to know the Lord. First, because I can read about the change in her life when she came to know God and second because she was part of the line of Jesus and she was ‘bad’ in the eyes of the people. It gives me hope and reminds me that the Lord can use all things and all people.

    Thanks Rachel for your insights.

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  68. Good Morning Ladies. I am so pleased to know that God will use us inspite of and not because of. In my life's journey I have have made some wrong turns, but by believing and trusting in God, He has made my crooked road straight, just as He did for Rahab. These readings have really made a positive impact on my life. I have come to learn that regardless of my past, God can still use me to.

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  69. Rachel, your last 2 sentences say it all...God can transform anyone and He gives us all hope with the imperfect people he used in Jesus' bloodline. He has a plan for us all, no matter how we live our lives.

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  70. Rahab may have been a prostitute, but man was she courageous. God put this sinful woman out there to do His will. I guess what I get from this story is that we are all sinners, no better than a prostitute, and he uses us for His will everyday in the things we say and do. I wish that I had the courage that she had.

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  71. So glad to see you're back Rachel and I again, needed this study. I also have thought that after I had asked God to forgive me for the sin in my life, I still thought He would not want to use me. But when I see all through the bible how God has used women that have been forgiven, it really helps me realize that I'm that broken vessel that God has put back together and I can be used. I am thankful that I have the bible to read about how God worked in the lives of these women.
    We have all of the modern conveniences to share His news and I marvel how they spread His word in the bible, then I'm ashamed of myself by not sharing His word more. This study is helping me realize that I need to share what He's done for me in my life.
    Thank you again Rachel for this. God is using you and you are such a blessing to me.
    love from central louisiana

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  72. Hey Everybody!
    I was off on yesterday and I don't have internet at home, but Rachel, I am glad that you made it back safely and I will continue to pray that you remain an annointed sister who is spread the word of God... Rahab.... wow, someone else said it, but if you look at Christ and how he spoke in parables about the "common" things or even the people he touched that weren't the scholars and Pharises (please hold to my head and not my heart for the spelling if wrong), it allows me to be even more thankful that if God can forgive a "filthy rag" like me, he can use anyone... Amen.. I must confess that no matter what day I have prior to "logging in", my spirit is also renewed by your lessons.... Thank you so much Rachel... I would love to meet you one day....

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  73. To:

    Cassandra from Virginia


    You click on their highlighten name at the beginning of their comment, that will take you to their personal blog. Good luck,

    Traci, WA

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  74. Ditto to ALL of your insightful comments. Personally, this message of worth in the eyes of our Lord is what I need to remind myself of daily and to pray for his continued grace and mercy daily. Our faith AND actions on this side of life will prepare the way. What a comfort to know that by repeatedly coming home to God NOW (through prayer and repentance) we will be able to truly come home to Him!

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  75. One little thing that caught my attention, she was to hang a "scarlet red" cord on her window and gather her family behind it. Reminds me of the isrealites the night of passover! Just a thought.

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  76. This story shows me NO matter what our past is, God will forgive us and use us to be a part of His perfect plan.


    Thank the Lord for the power of His cleansing blood, it washes away our sins so we may start a new in Him!

    Christi in Texas

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  77. Hi All again!

    By this time I'm sure everyone knows my blog donnamcguinness.blogspot.com is being used to the Glory of the Father. Someone said on my post that God is using me to reach others and you don't know how that humbles me so much! I see my life changing in front of my eyes now for the last 2 weeks. It is because of all of you, this Bible Study and Gods words, he is using me and I am eternally grateful.

    Cari you are in my prayers 1 Peter 2:24 "Her personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds!"

    Cari, claim it and it will be done! I am believing in Jesus name that you are healed. When the doctors go into that infection there will be nothing there. I've seen it and I've been a part of many healing miracles. You are healed! also Jeremiah 30:17 " For I will restore health unto you and I will heal you of your wounds, said the Lord.." He is the same God who did part the Red Sea and the same one who made the blind see! Praise His Name daily and He will hear you..

    I have written on my post about our husbands, I know I mentioned it before..and the reason why I am bringing it up again is sometimes we don't see the way our husbands do..so please go to my blog and read. We all need to feel what they do. When we do maybe our communication with them will be better...

    Love Donna

    Can't wait to meet more of you..See you Sweatpea, Plant Lady, Kim, Dana, Rena, jnl4god, Debrah, and who am I missing?? Well you know who you are..be blessed!!

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  78. I have such a heart for Rahab--she seems like a kindred spirit to me (her and the woman at the well!)
    Before I was saved I think satan thought he could use me to destroy my husband. Before we were together my husband had come to know the Lord and then he walked away and in I walked. I was a "new-age pagan" without a single moral in my body.
    About three years later, God started pursuing me and when I decided to accept an altar call a few months later all I could think of was, "I wonder what my boyfriend is going to think about this--well it doesn't matter because I have to do this."
    He was with me at the time and he could not believe his eyes when I went down to the altar--he was thrilled to say the least because he had promised to never marry someone who did not know the Lord.
    When we got married we brought five children into the marriage with us and one by one four of them have come to the Lord--we still have one we are praying for one.
    My point is that my mother did not know the Lord when she died and it hurts terribly to think where she is now. But, from myself forward hopefully (prayerfully) all of my descendants will know the Lord and be godly young men and women.
    As we see with Rahab and I know personally--a whole family line can change with one person coming to the Truth.
    Rahab is now a sister of mine and I can't wait to meet her in heaven!

    Cari:
    I will be praying for you now and when you have your surgery. I can tell you that I know exactly what Romans 5:3-5 means and I am such a different person now then I was when this started 7 years ago! But, God is still in the business of healing--He is Jehovah Rapha-the Great Physician and He can heal you in a moments notice. He may do it before the surgery or He may do it after so keep your faith and your focus on Him.
    In Joy <3

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  79. Well, I'm late posting, but you all have said it all. Thank you "agodchaser" for your insight. It is true that we learn to fear and love the Lord. I think we learn to fear Him first, when we don't know Him. But once we form an intimate relationship with Him and call Him by name (I am, Father, Jahovah, Lord, Yahweh, El-Shaddai) we love Him. There is a really good devotion today (April 2) on "Girlfriends for God" which you can find on the crosswalk site. Here the author presents the last names of God which reveal His purpose for the situation. Jahovah Jireh for I am Provider, Jahovah Shalom for I am Peace... and so on.

    Rahab's situation may not have left her much choice as to her profession. As Elizabeth in Maryland says, it is clear she knew a lot of powerful people! She stepped out in faith to bargain for the safety of her family, and she did not turn her back on that faith when the walls were falling down around her (literally). I need that kind of faith. I could claim at least the faith of a mustard seed then!

    "agodchaser" I visited your blog. It looks great and my prayers are with you for God to inspire you and fill your postings with His truth. Fivedesigns, you are providing a good ministry to all, keep up the wonderful work. Everyone else, I am praying for you all.

    Rachel, welcome back! I'm glad your weekend went so well and that you have new participants in this study.

    Shalom,

    Karen - Pleasanton, CA

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  80. I agree, Rachel. It is very comforting to know that there were imperfect people in the lineage of Jesus. God values all of us despite our shortcomings, and the proof is that He sent His only Son to die for us. I know I've said it before, but these stories have one common theme: they are a love letter from God to all of His princesses.

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  81. the fact that she lied is annoying, and although GOD ended up blessing her, HE blessed her for her devotion to caring for HIS people and for her fear of HIM, not her lying. maybe this is painfully obvious, but i think it's something important to point out. GOD can make any bad stuff good, but he rewards us for our devotion to HIM, not for sinning in the first place and then blessing us anyhow.

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  82. I really enjoyed reading about Rahab. One of the first things that popped into my head was the fact that out of all of the women we have read so far, she was bad before she was good whereas all the others were good and did something bad. Granted, I feel closer to those that were "good", ie: I was brought up in the church, but did something bad, ie: I obviously sin daily. But, it's a great way to show others who feel that God can't love them, God can't use them, God doesn't want them in His family (do to their sordid past) that that's just not the case. If God can use a lying harlot, then why can't He use me? Why can't He use *you*?

    I also thought it was great how someone so far removed from knowing God had more faith than all of our other chicks combined!! She knew that the Spies God was THE God. She knew it and believed it well before the spies were at her doorstep and hiding on her roof.

    It's also great to see how God started the whole process. God knew well well well in advance that He was going to use those particular spies, and that particular harlot and that particular tattletell. That's why he allowed Rahab to hear all of the stories of His people and the parting of the Red Sea, etc. He had her fear Him, then respect His power and then believe that He was the one true God. He softened her heart long before the Spies got there. It's nice to know that God has everything covered, long before I even realize I might be headed for troubled times.

    I'm glad you're back safe and sound Rachel!! I hope you enjoyed your speaking engagement. I miss the last few days on here and in my Bible and I CAN TELL! I'm glad I'm back home.

    I've been praying for all of you ladies as well!

    Loves,
    Rica from WP Florida

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  83. glad to hear about your good weekend. thanks for the thoughts on rahab. she is another daughter of the King. we have great hope in the fact that Jesus used very ordinary people and as a matter of fact women who weren't so "good".

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  84. I love the way you end this discussion, I think it does show hope for all of us that no matter what our past our God is still our God and He loves us.

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