Opinion

The wisdom of a prostitute

Lucy Gichuhi on Rahab, the woman with a scarlet cord

The Book of Joshua starts with the Israelites preparing to enter the Promised Land. Israel could not settle in the land without first conquering Jericho – the strongest city of the region. Joshua, guided by God, sent two men to spy on Jericho’s defences. During their mission, they went to the house of Rahab, a prostitute.

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Jericho’s king was informed and ordered Rahab to hand over the men of God. Capture would have meant certain death. Rahab, acting with wisdom that seems to have come from God, protected them by pointing the soldiers elsewhere.

It is God’s divine purpose for your life that will prevail

Rahab is the story’s main character. According to the Gospel of Matthew, she is the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth – this is the beginning of the line of David. The men of God are unnamed and faceless. God’s focus is on Rahab and his plan is for her to become part of the lineage of Jesus.

She said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land 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” (Josh 2:9). She showed wisdom by recognising God’s plan. Rahab trusted in the sign of the scarlet cord through divine protection and guidance.

It was not the men of God who required saving. God was working to protect Rahab, who was important for the lineage of Jesus.

It is not your experience, skills, profession or status in life that matter. It is God’s divine purpose for your life that will prevail no matter what your circumstances.

“Why did the men of God go to a prostitute’s house?”

The question that goes through my mind every time I read this is, “Why did the men of God go to a prostitute’s house?” It doesn’t seem to be the natural first port of call for men of God. But God trusted them with their character and skills to come up with an agreement that was free of worldly vices that compromise his plans. Only people of God under his divine protection and inspiration could do this. Rahab’s business was to entertain men. God had prepared and equipped her for this moment – to recognise that these men were different.

Christians are instruments in God’s divine grand design plan. He equips and positions us even if we can’t see it just yet. Christians need to obey, trust and be prepared to be used by God every waking moment. The transformation that comes with a Christian lifestyle is part of his equipping and skilling us. All Rahab needed to do was recognise the moment and go with God’s flow. When God’s wisdom transforms our minds, he provides skills to carry out his will. He did it for Rahab. God’s strength equips us in challenging circumstances to advance his kingdom.

Many have asked me, “Why did you join the Liberal Party?”

It was a watershed moment. From my experience, skills and God’s guidance, I could see a political party with a difference – just as Rahab could tell that the spies were “men with a difference that make the difference.”

The “God factor” makes our lives worth living

Sometimes it feels as if we need many people, certain skills, positions, colour, creed, gender to bring about change. But Christians only need to obey and trust that right now, wherever or whoever you are, God has positioned you for the next part of his grand plan. Just do it with focus, courage and a keen eye so you don’t miss your watershed moment.

Time after time we see God’s love, guidance and protection bring about real change through the willingness of just one very unlikely person, church, skill or experience. It is the “God factor” that makes our lives worth living.

Lucy Gichuhi is a Liberal senator for South Australia.

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Parliament of Australia

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