“By faith Rahab the prostitute escaped the destruction of the disobedient, because she welcomed the spies in peace” (Hebrews 11:31 NET).
So how did Rahab the prostitute enter the Hebrews 11 “Faith Hall Of Fame”? Well, Rahab entered this portion of Scripture by virtue of her authentic, God-honoring faith. For instance, Rahab’s faith was clearly aligned with the definition of faith given to us earlier in Hebrews 11:1: “…faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see” (ESV).
Next, we can say that Rahab clearly believed in God’s existence. That belief led her to risk her life in hiding the members of the Israelite reconnaissance team who entered the city of Jericho. Thus, Rahab expressed the kind of faith we read about earlier in Hebrews 11:6…
“You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him” (TLB).
Rahab also demonstrated the fact that she took God and His word seriously. She believed God could save her from the coming destruction of the city. She also trusted Him to ensure that the people of Israel followed through on their commitment to spare her life when they conquered the city. Thus, Rahab’s example reveals a great deal about genuine Biblical faith and how that faith should influence our actions.
Because of this, God has chosen to honor Rahab with a place in the Biblical Faith Hall Of Fame. This has also led one commentator to the following conclusion…
“[This] is a tremendous revelation of the fact that God did not arbitrarily destroy the city of Jericho. You see, for forty years word had been filtering into Jericho about a people who crossed the Red Sea. In other words, Rahab said, ‘It was forty years ago when we heard about that. And I for one believed. Others believed the facts, but they did not believe in God. They never trusted the living God.’
Later on, they heard how God was leading Israel and that He had given them victory on the other side of the Jordan against the Amorites. Jericho should have profited from that information. Finally Israel miraculously crossed the Jordan River and parked right outside the door of Jericho. What had God been doing? He had been giving the city an opportunity to believe in Him, to trust Him, and to turn to Him.” (1)
(1) J. Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, “Hebrews 11:31 The Faith Of Rahab” Copyright 1981 by J. Vernon McGee