Rahab’s life was not spared because of her lie. It was spared because she put her faith in God. Rahab was given a gracious opportunity to side with God by protecting the two Israelite spies, and she acted within her circumstances. She lied daringly and elaborately. Perhaps her initial response was simply a habit of her profession. From the perspective of the king of Jericho, Rahab would have been guilty of treason, not just lying. She had a new allegiance, and she didn’t yet know that the God she now wanted to trust had a rule about lying.
While those around her feared what the God of Israel might do, Rahab feared enough to boldly trust Him as the one true God, “for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (2:11b). She understood that God wasn’t a local or a national god. She knew enough to act. The spies were impressed and indebted. When Rahab asked them for protection, they recognized their obligation. They were exact in promising to preserve the lives of those in her house, indicated by the scarlet cord from the window.
The radical change that came into Rahab’s life when those spies knocked on her door can be seen in several ways. She risked her life to trust God. The Book of Ruth, along with Matthew 1:5, also reveals that Rahab married and became the great-great-grandmother of King David and one of the ancestors of Jesus. Centuries later, Rahab was one of the women listed in Hebrews 11 because of her faith.
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