God uses us, warts and all, to change people’s lives.
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“Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall,
she let [the spies] down by a rope through the window.
‘Escape to the hill country,’ she told them.
‘Hide there for three days from the men searching for you.
Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.'”
Joshua 2:15-16 New Living Translation
Wonder Woman, Batman, and the Tick (okay, maybe not the Tick) are characters we expect to save the day. When Gotham City is in danger, we expect Batman to slide down his pole to the Batcave, hop in his Batmobile and race to the rescue. That’s what super heroes do. It’s what we expect them to do, and we know that they will not disappoint us.
I don’t think many of us would consider Rahab a super hero. She’s a prostitute in Jericho; a non-Israelite, yet she knows that God has given the city into the hands of the Israelite. She is willing to risk death to save her life as well as her family’s life. In the process she becomes a super hero of the Bible when she saves the lives of the Israelite spies by her actions to save herself.
There is something earthy, something real in Rahab’s actions. Her goal is not to be a super hero, but to save herself, as well as her family, which she does because she declares the Lord is God (Joshua 2:11), and in this sense believes in the God of the Hebrews.
We don’t set out to be super heroes, in fact, much of what we do is to save our lives. God uses even our self-serving actions to change the lives of others. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we should disregard our motives. I’m not saying we ought to live with selfish intent, but I am saying that even when our motives do not put God first he is at work to do what he does best: save lives.
How important was Rahab’s actions? We need to look to the New Testament for the answer as she is listed in Jesus’ genealogy, one of only four women mentioned (Matthew 1:5). When others look back on your life, your name will appear in their genealogy of faith because God is at work through you.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner