“Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab” [Matthew 1:5a]
The second women in Jesus’ family tree is Rahab. If anything, she is even more surprising than Tamar. Rahab was caught up in the sex trade. She was also a gentile, living in Jericho before the Israelites conquered it. Rahab would have worshipped foreign idols, and if she knew God, she would have rejected him.
Yet Rahab is also the one who rescues the Israelite spies, hiding them from the men searching the city for them. She and her family are also the only non-Israelites to be rescued from the city and allowed to live there with the new occupants. You can read her story in the book of Joshua, chapters 2 and 6. The story ends by telling us that Rahab and her family have lived in Israel ever since.
I can’t imagine what it must have taken to choose to turn your back on your belief system and all the people you have ever known to rescue some foreign invaders. To choose a difficult and costly path is what we are often faced with – perhaps not like Rahab’s, but we are often faced with difficult choices. Rahab chose to follow the God of Israel rather than her beloved pagan idols; she chose the men of God over her friends. What do we do when faced with a choice between God and something or someone else?
we know that you never ask more of us than we can manage,
yet sometimes we feel that the burden is too great.
We don’t always want to put you first.
We don’t always want to give up what we love when it clashes with our love for you.
Give us the faith of Rahab,
the faith to stand for you and for what is right.
We thank you that you are with us in all the decisions we need to make in life;
may we always walk with you.