“And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:25-26).Some stories in the Bible don’t quite fit.This is one of them.Daniel in the lion’s den fits.Rahab the harlot doesn’t fit so well.We admire David for killing Goliath.We’re not so sure about Rahab telling a lie.We teach our children to sing “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho.”I don’t know any songs about Rahab.And yet . . . Rahab hid the spies and sent them on their way.That meant Joshua got the crucial information he needed.She ended up saving her whole family.She gave birth to a son named Boaz who married Ruth.She was David’s great-great-grandmother.She shows up in Matthew 1 as part of Jesus’ genealogy.She made it to the “Hall of Fame of Faith” in Hebrews 11.She becomes an example of living faith in James 2.Did I mention she was a prostitute and a liar?
Faith can be messy at times. True faith is rarely as neat and clean as we make it out to be on Sunday morning. Real faith is always mixed with very human imperfections. If you doubt that, just take a look in the mirror. You have faith, or at least you try to have faith, or you muddle through as best you can. How close to perfection are you?That’s my point.Though Rahab was far from perfect, her name shows up in an honorable way in the Bible.Messy faith is better than no faith. Let’s start there as we think about Rahab. What can we learn from her story?
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