In the last two lessons from What a Prostitute can Teach us, we saw the importance keeping our promises, of standing up for what is right, and of letting our actions proclaim what we truly believe. There is one last lesson we can learn from this famous woman, and this is, perhaps, the most important lesson of all:
4. Don’t judge!
Rahab was a prostitute.
There was no denying the claim.
Prostitutes were and still are considered a sinful class of people. We don’t like associating with them, and we certainly don’t want our children associating with them!
But is it ours to judge?
Let’s see what Rahab’s story tells us:
“However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day …” (Josh 6:25 NASU)
Wait a minute! Not only was Rahab a sinful woman, but she was also a Canaanite! Didn’t Moses warn against letting Canaanites live in Israel? “Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.” (Ex 23:32-33 NIV)
But Rahab was exempted from this law. Once she and her family were rescued from Jericho, they were invited to live in Israel, and not only this, but she was allowed to marry an Israelite, Salmon! “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab …” (Matt 1:5 NASU) And the honor bestowed upon her didn’t even stop here! She became the great-grandmother of kind David, and is even mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus: “Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.” (Matt 1:5-6 NASU)!
Friends, let’s not judge! God loves prostitutes! In fact, God loves all sinners! “Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'” (Matt 9:12-13 NIV)
The next time you feel tempted to point the finger at someone for their sin, remember: “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Rom 3:22-25 NIV)
We shouldn’t judge others for the life style they choose, for our own sins grieve the father just as much. Remember, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:1-2 NIV).
Instead of judging, let’s love sinners. Let’s commit to praying for them, for you never know when God will call someone from the depths of sin and do a great work through them!
There you have it. Four important lessons we can learn from Rahab the Prostitute: Keep your promises, stand up for what is right, let your actions be in line with your faith, and most importantly, do not judge!
The next time you see someone who has chosen what you would consider to be a sinful lifestyle, remember Rahab. Don’t point the finger. Instead, be kind to them and pray for them. Who knows? The drug abuser on the street may come to the Lord, and when he does, he may promise to spend the rest of his life helping kids stay out of drugs! The person serving a life sentence for murder may accept Jesus’ gift of Salvation, and he may be the one God will use to bring the thousands of other inmates to Him! The person who steels identity and leaves people homeless and destitute may someday come to the Lord, and when he or she does, God may use that person as an example of faith in our day and age! Instead of judging these people, let’s commit them to our prayers. You never know when God will call someone like Rahab, from the depths of sin, and do a great work through them!
Join us next week for the other important lesson that Joshua has to teach us: LESSONS FROM JOSHUA, Part 7: God’s Part and Our Part
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
(To access the entire “Lessons From Joshua” mini-series, please click here.)