It looks to me like the Harlot Rahab, in Joshua chapter 2, is actually the “model” character to follow, even more than the two spies dispatched to “go view the land.”
Instead of a brave recon mission … the two spies … in reality find themselves “hiding” in a woman’s house! Humiliating, to a Jew of that day!
And she, Rahab, though the quintessential “foolish woman” of the Old Testament (an adulteress or harlot, a common prostitute) … is nearly portrayed as a “wise woman” in our chapter’s context!
For example, Rahab was brave. Risking her life to spare the two spies, committing what would have been called “treason” against Jericho (her homeland). Yes treason, a capital crime! (She hid them on her roof until the danger abated.)
She was “creative” in her thinking! What a story she concocted … “And the Rahab took the two men (spies), and hid them, and said thus (to the soldiers of Jericho, the King’s search party), ‘There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: and it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.’ But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.” Joshua 2:4-6, yes it was all a lie! But she would soon learn better. And she furthered the cause of Israel in the process. To the Glory of God!
She also had a healthy “fear of the Lord” building in her heart! “And she said unto the men (spies), I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” Joshua 2:9-11, the beginning of “faith,” saving faith! (“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm 111:10)
Watch too her compassion for her whole family! “Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: and that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” Joshua 2:12-13, altruism, selfless love!
Maybe these facts (along with several others) help explain why Rahab appears in Scripture so often!
In the New Testament; Matthew and Hebrews and James!
One writer I studied likens her (in many ways) to the “virtuous woman” of Proverbs 31. I am talking about the “saved, changed-by-God’s-Grace” Rahab now!
That’s Grace, all right … AMAZING GRACE!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
The “red” scarlet cord later in the story is no doubt a symbol of the Blood of Jesus! No doubt in my mind, this foreigner of a cursed race became a follower (sincerely) of the God of Abraham! We shall meet her in Heaven some day, too!