“I’ve messed this up”
Raise your hand if you have ever made a mistake.
Look around. Everyone is raising their hand. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all sinned. We have all done things that we deeply regret. One of the most important parts of the Christian life is moving on from past mistakes, accepting the consequences, and believing that God can use you in a big way.
Let’s look at Rahab. She was a prostitute. Her house was probably tucked away in a darker part of the city of Jericho. She was living in a life of sin.
The shame and guilt that comes with sin, especially sexual sin, was probably evident in her life every day. She probably felt like she couldn’t get out of this sin. Like many of us, she felt trapped.
But one day, two men came into her home, and they weren’t seeking her sinful practice, they were looking for a place to hide from the authorities in the city.
A Life Changing Meeting
They were spies from a people group called the Israelites, and they served a pretty impressive God.
Rahab knew about their God. She had heard many stories about His people and their conquests.
In Joshua chapter 2:9-11 she says, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.
She knew about God’s greatness and glory as well.
“When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”
This is where the story gets pretty awesome! Rahab believes that the people of Israel are inevitable and that their God is all-powerful, and makes a deal with the men to save her family.
This agreement is based on her belief in God saving her. She acts on this belief and saves the lives of the two spies.
An Incredible Turn
Many of you know the story, but the ending is what I want to emphasize.
In Joshua chapter 6, after the battle of Jericho, the men bring out Rahab and her family. Her family was saved from destruction, but, that’s not the end of the story. Rahab is saved from destruction and then used in a mighty way.
Often, verse 25 is quickly glossed over or forgotten entirely in the story.
“But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.”
Her family lived among the Israelites. We can assume that Rahab married an Israelite man, and lived a life that was used miraculously by the Lord.
To find the proof of this we need to go to the book of Matthew.
In the opening genealogies, Rahab is mentioned in the line of Christ. This is incredible for a Canaanite woman, let alone a Canaanite prostitute.
A prostitute was used to continue the family line of Christ and bring Jesus into the world.
What a great story of mercy and power.
He Wants Your Future
It doesn’t matter our past. God can change and use us. He saved Rahab and adopted her into his ultimate plan.
The scripture is full of stories like this. People who made mistakes, and were used by God to change the world.
So no matter what you’ve done, understand that God can use your future. Sin is evil, it will destroy us, and we have to live with the consequences, but, God is waiting for us. Begging us to come back to Him. Pleading with us to trust him, and give him our lives.
He can take our broken, worthless lives and use them to do things that would blow our earthly minds. So don’t give up heart.
Jesus wants your future, no matter your past.