RAHAB RAN AN UNPRETENTIOUS little establishment in the red-light district of Jericho and was known for, among other things, her warm and generous heart. That is perhaps why, when Joshua was getting ready to attack, the spies he sent in to case the joint made a beeline for her.

When the king of Jericho found out they were there, he rang Rahab up and over the din of the piano player downstairs managed to get it across to her who they were and that she was to turn them in on the double if not quicker. Rahab replied that, though it was true some customers answering his description had been there that evening, she'd thought they were just a couple of butter-and-egg men out for a good time and had kissed them good-bye not more than twenty minutes earlier. If he got a move on, he could probably still catch them.

She then went up to the roof where she had the spies stashed away and told them what had happened. She said that as far as she was concerned, the customer was always right, and she had no intention of squealing on them. She also said she felt it in her bones that with Yahweh on his side, Joshua was going to find Jericho a pushover when the attack began. All she asked in return for her services was that, when the boys came marching in, they'd give her and her family a break.

The spies were only too happy to agree, she let them down with a rope, and they beat it back to headquarters to report to Joshua. A few days later, when Joshua went through Jericho like a dose of salts, he saw to it that Rahab and her family got out before he burned the place down, and they lived happily ever after.

Matthew lists Rahab as one of the ancestresses of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5), and that may be one reason why there was something about free-wheeling ladies with warm and generous hearts that he was never quite able to resist.

Joshua 2; 6

-Originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words

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