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The Woman Behind the Wall who got Free

 She took down her own “prison” walls and found freedom

 Scripture reference: Joshua 2-6 (especially chapters 2 and 6)


1. Rahab lived in Jericho, which was heavily fortified with big walls. Hers is a tough story, dangerous, and personally degrading. She ran an inn, probably a brothel and was a prostitute. In a patriarchal culture this may have been her lot because she was childless and tossed away with a divorce that was easily attainable. She would have been powerless and this may have been her only way to survive. She was demeaned by the culture yet crucial to God’s plan for all of history.

2. Rahab received spies from Israel at her inn. Israel was a mighty culture about to take over Jericho. She hid the spies from the authorities and protected them, thus risking her life for the spies’ safety. God could have chosen someone else for this important task but Rahab was selected.

3. She lowered the famous scarlet cord (shawl??) to let the spies out of the city wall where she lived. Thus she risked the lives of her family too, to let the spies stay with her.

4. Rahab made a deal with the spies that when Israel invaded Jericho she and her family would be saved. The plan was to lower the scarlet cord from her window so the army would know which house was hers.

5. When Joshua circled 7 times around the city and blew the trumpets (Joshua fit the battle of Jericho!) the walls fell and fire destroyed the city. Rahab and her family were taken out of the city before it was destroyed because of her faithfulness in housing the spies.

6. Rahab married one of the spies, Salman, and had a son named Boaz who later married Ruth, who was the great grandmother of David. Rahab befriended God’s people and became part of the great plan of the history of God’s people. She took big risks to listen to God’s leading and thus freed herself from her own walls and the culture’s “prison” walls.

Quiet time reflecting on the story with the following questions

How would you imagine Rahab using her shawl in her story?

When have you felt demeaned by the culture or other people because of who you are or the work you do? What is that like for you?

When have you taken a risk to save or protect another person who you believed in? What was it like for you?

When have you had to count on someone else to keep his/her word in a threatening situation? How did it work out?

How does God work through trials and risky situations in your life to bring about miraculous results or to bring down your walls?

What did Rahab do, in summary, to keep the genealogy of Jesus going?