Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend… In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?” — James 2:21-25
When I first read this, I was thinking, “Who in the world is this Rahab person? And how come she was mentioned alongside Abraham?” I mean, growing up in a Christian nation, knowing Abraham is a default. We even have a childhood song on him having seven children (although where we got that idea, I’ve never figured out… as far as I know, I’ve counted eight). We all know about him waiting for a long time just to have a son, his beloved Isaac, only to have God ask him to sacrifice the very same son on the altar. We all know that God honored him greatly for having obeyed, despite the hard decision and that God provided a miraculous replacement at the last minute. Abraham did great exploits for God. Fourteen chapters of the bible are dedicated to his life and a lot more references throughout besides. Abraham is someone we could all point to as a role model for our spiritual life.
BUT who in the world is Rahab?
Compared to Abraham, she has a meager one chapter account in Joshua and was described as a prostitute, equivalent to a persona non grata, far from our picture of a spiritual role model. And yet, in that one chapter she was shown to have put her life as well as the lives of her whole family completely in God’s hands.
And that was enough.
God has no bias regarding our past. Rahab was a social outcast for being a prostitute, but she was considered on the same level of righteousness as Abraham, the uber-religious guy who was acknowledged by the TIME magazine to be the father of three great religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism). Not below, not above but AT PAR. God fully redeemed her past when she gave her life in complete trust to Him. He even assigned her a role as one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 1:5) JUST LIKE Abraham.
Whether you are like Abraham, who is an icon of spirituality or like Rahab, who was an immoral woman and a social outcast, God can do great things through you. The question is, are you willing to put your entire life in His hands? Are you willing to act on what He asks of you?