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How Stalks and Flax Changed Everything
Series: Reclaimed - Uncovering Your Worth
Week 3: Oxymoron: Rahab - Day 2
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering (Romans 12:1 MSG).
In yesterday’s lesson, we spent some time discussing the Bible as a whole and how its meticulous attention to detail points to the brilliance of the Creator. God is indeed in the small things, the things that often go unnoticed. And He is very interested in the people who often go over- looked. Today’s lesson is proof of that. Go back and read Joshua 2:4-7 to give our lesson some context.
What did Rahab use to hide the spies?
The answer to this question, although seemingly an unimportant detail, actually helps us glean some pertinent information about our female lead character. We learn from verse 2 that Rahab was previously known for her profession. Please write it below in the space provided.
‘‘Rahab, the harlot’’ was how I knew her prior to my preparation for this Bible study. It’s difficult to encounter this name without the label mentioned. According to most scholars, she was a practicing harlot, but she may not have been. According to Matthew Henry, Rahab, although certainly a prostitute at one point in her past, was no longer one. His commentary states, ‘‘Rahab, here called a harlot, a woman that had formerly been of ill fame, the reproach of which stuck to her name, though of late she had repented and reformed.’’
Whatever her occupation, she had a heart that was prepared.
Back to my previous point. Why is the fact that she hid the spies with stalks of flax an important detail? We know that at this time in history, both wool and flax were critical raw materials used to create clothing. Flax was woven together to make linen and wool woven to make outer garments. In that time, if an Israelite was clothed in linen, he or she was allowed enter into the presence of God. Whether Rahab understood all that or not, God was preparing her to be one of His own.
I can only imagine that if her hope was to no longer be known as ‘‘Rahab, the harlot,’’ but simply as ‘‘Rahab,’’ it would be a difficult road for her to walk. How hard it must have been for her to remake herself. If even today, she is known not only by her name, but by the label too, how much of a challenge was it to rid herself of this previous identity then? I wonder if, as she heard that knock and met those two spies at her door, she saw it as her way out-her onetime shot. Did she know that welcoming them in might be just the opportunity she needed to create for herself a new name? In hindsight, we know that her actions did accomplish just that. On this si ...
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