Rahab lived in Jericho. She was a pagan, living in a heathen city, yet this was what she said to the spies that Joshua had sent: “I know that the Lord has given this land to you 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 for you when you came out of Egypt … When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:9-11
Isn’t that an amazing statement for an apparent pagan to be making? The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. These were things that the Israelites barely believed themselves.
I had a similar experience once when I was reading a book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The author talks a lot about God but mostly, as a creative force, not as a personal God. Nevertheless, she was saying things about God that were true that I hadn’t given a lot of thought. For example, she was writing about how extravagantly creative God is. He doesn’t just create one pink flower but He created hundreds of pink flowers. In comparison we are often stingy with our own creativity. It’s somewhat humbling to learn from non-Christians
Rahab didn’t have a great background. Hebrews 11 tells us she was a prostitute. She also wasn’t an Israelite. She hadn’t grown up hearing stories about God. Yet she had faith in God because she had heard how he acted on behalf of his people.
We need people like Rahab. They come to faith without preconceived ideas, without our traditions, without our jargon. They remind us of what we really believe. They give us a fresh perspective.
Many years ago, we made friends with a young couple who had just come to faith. They were refreshing, they didn’t use church language, they didn’t know our customs. Their simple faith encouraged ours.
Rahab told the spies, The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. It reminds us that no matter what is going on in our lives God is in charge and when things are going badly we especially need to remember this.
Rahab teaches us the value of having a simple faith. God is in charge and that’s all that matters.