A Safe Place for Rahab
by Sharon Betters
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2 ESV
In keeping with their promise to Rahab, after winning the battle of Jericho, "the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her, and they brought out all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel" (Joshua 6:23). I wonder if Rahab understood that she was trading a position of status and power for a tent “outside the camp”. Imagine the conflicting emotions that filled not just Rahab but the women of Israel as Rahab the Harlot set up housekeeping outside the camp of God's people. Rumors about this streetwise madam must have flown from woman to woman as they watched her unpack her colorful garments and exotic treasures. However, at some point, Rahab the Harlot began living "in Israel" (Joshua 6:25). What happened? Who befriended Rahab?
I like to believe that among the women of Israel there was at least one who took a deep breath, packed up a basket of stuffed grape leaves, Syrian bread and kibbi and resolutely walked the pathway to the door of this strange woman's tent, determined to embrace and welcome her into the family of God. Maybe it was one of the mothers of the spies whose lives Rahab saved.
My husband is full blooded Lebanese. His grandparents “came over on the boat”. My first introduction to his family gave me a glimpse into a very different culture than my own. I loved when their relatives came to visit. I looked forward to the loud storytelling, uproarious laughter and delicious foods. After Chuck and I were married, my mother-in-law taught me how to make some of Chuck’s favorite Lebanese foods. We spent hours at her kitchen table, drinking coffee and sharing stories. She welcomed me as her daughter.
I like to imagine a godly older woman taking Rahab under her wing in a similar way. Not only would she teach Rahab how to prepare Israeli foods but more importantly, she would teach her about Yahweh in such a way that Rahab fell more deeply in love with Him. By embracing Rahab, other women would welcome her as well. Of course, the Scripture does not give us these details, but we do know that Rahab married Salmon, son of Nahshon. Through her marriage, Rahab became a princess in Israel and a critical link in the birth of our Savior.
Yahweh, our Covenant-keeping God, the God of Heaven and earth, how we need You as our protector, shield, and safe place. Thank you that when we know Jesus as Savior, we can trust You to create a safe place for us in Your presence and lead us to a place of safety with Your people.