We Wash Feet

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Your Story Isn’t Written

Many, many years ago, a man named Joshua sent two spies into a hostile enemy nation.  They cautiously made their way into the ancient city of Jericho, doing their best to remain inconspicuous.  They chose to lay low in the home of a well known prostitute, Rahab. Quickly, the King’s informants sent word of their whereabouts and Rahab was ordered to surrender these men to the authority of the king.

Courageously, she chose to hide and assist in the men’s escape. She chose treason, a crime punishable by not only your death but the death of your entire family, rather than release these men to the Canaanite King.  A bold move, but one that paid off for her and her family.

Rahab was a woman of the night. A woman paid to have sex with men.  A woman concreted in to a life where men used her and women avoided her. A woman whose poor life choices found herself in an unacceptable occupation, with no way out.

As a teenager staying with friends overseas, I well remember walking through the red light district of one European city. Although my friend did his best to prepare me, I still expected an  American television version of the hooker on the street corner. What I saw instead were rows of curtained store front windows with women waiting to sell their bodies to the highest bidder. After recovering from the initial shock, I looked into the eyes of a couple of these women. The tears began to well up inside me. Posed in the window for men to choose from a list of options, their empty, hollow eyes sent shudders down my spine. I cried for hours afterwards. I still cry when I think about them.

I’ve looked into the eyes of girls closer to home, who are trapped in lives they never wanted, seeing no way out. Some of these girls made poor choices, some were handed a raw deal in life. Either way, their story seems set in stone. Like Rahab, “the prostitute” this is how you are to be known. The failure. The addict.  The victim.  Easy, cheap, worthless, stupid, the list goes on infinitely. Convinced this is your life, convinced there is no other way…..

But then God…. The actual author of our story. 

Rahab the Prostitute listened to their stories of water dividing and people crossing on dry land, of victorious battles won against fierce armies thought to be unconquerable, of land promised by the One True God and his people moving in to possess it. She listened to the miracles and followed the movement of a God, foreign to her, belonging to a different sort of people.

She believed. With that truth taking root in her heart she hid two strangers and changed the course of her history.

When the battle came to Jericho, she knew the scarlet cord hanging in her window meant protection for her and her family. She gathered them into her home and as sure as God’s word is true, her household was spared.

Oftentimes the story of Rahab wraps up with the walls of Jericho.  The prostitute who saved the spies was saved in return but Rahab’s story does not end in the second chapter of the book of Joshua. Your story doesn’t end with the hurt, despair and consequences of your past. God has, can and will stamp rescued and redeemed across your heart when you choose Him and his ways.

So what happened to her? Scriptures proceed to tell us, Rahab goes on to live with the Israelites and marry a man named Salmon. She becomes a mother who teaches her children to see past culture, to protect those weaker and more vulnerable than yourself, to love fiercely, and live with integrity.  All of which is evident as her son’s story unfolds in the pages of one of the greatest love stories in scripture.  Yes Rahab, the mother of Boaz, the kinsman redeemer of a Moabite widow named Ruth.

Her story wasn’t over.  Rahab, who is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ is recorded in Hebrews as being found faithful.  A mother who believed, trusted, repented, and rose above her circumstances with faith in a God she wanted to know better.

Never believe your mistakes are too many, your poor choices have been too frequent, your lifestyle is too far removed, or your story is complete. You are His Story. Loved more fiercely, lavishly, extravagantly than conceivably possible. God wants to be the author of our story and the finisher of our faith.

Rahab, the mother. Rahab, the grandmother. Rahab, the faithful. Rahab chose HIS ending to her story and like her, you can choose HIS ending to YOUR story.  Leave a mark on history, a legacy beyond your greatest expectations simply by allowing Christ to write your story.

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