As I was invited to challenge myself to explore the emotion of freedom, instantly freedom from condemnation came to me. I know in my own walk and within my community of sisters, we struggle to walk in God’s worth because of our past or present sin. We entertain the lies that culture, Satan, and we ourselves whisper to us about our mess. Mess that maybe we created, mess that maybe we had absolutely no control over, or just mess that leaves us feeling dirty and condemned.
When we remain in our mess, or hold on to it, we aren’t allowing God to take that mess and turn it into a message. But when we decide to stop allowing the deception that tries to keep us in bondage from holding us back, we can walk in true freedom.
John 8:36 (NIV) says:
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Galatians 5:1 (NIV) says:
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
These are just a couple of God’s promises of the freedom we own as daughters of the true and living God.
As I started searching the Bible for a woman that truly embodied freedom from condemnation, Rahab was placed on my heart. If God can do it for her, we know He can do it for us. This story unfolds in the Old Testament before the fulfillment of God’s awaited promise, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Today, we are on the receiving end of the promise with our helper, the Holy Spirit. Now more than ever we have the choice to break free from bondage!
Without further ado, let’s meet our free from condemnation sister Rahab. Formerly a prostitute, she was predominantly immoral for a period of her lifetime, but it would not be endless. Queen of the Night may have once been her temporary label, but it wouldn’t be her permanent legacy. Through her faith in God the Father, this sister would find freedom and choose to live a life fully alive.
Rahab is first mentioned in the Bible as Rahab the Harlot. Harlot, meaning prostitute, was not the only label Rahab contended with. She was also a Canaanite, which made her a hated enemy of Israel. Faced with a real time, life changing decision, she tells a lie. Let’s think about that ladies. Rahab – a prostitute, a despised Canaanite, and a liar. You wouldn’t think that this woman would one day be a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ, but she was.
As her story unfolds, we will learn that once she chose the freedom that only God can offer us, she never looked back.
According to the account in Joshua 2, before the defeat of Canaan, Joshua sent two men as spies to see the land. They came to Rahab’s house for lodging. After all, it wouldn’t seem odd that two strange men were staying at her home. Or would it? Somehow, the King of Jericho gets word of this visit and sends a messenger to Rahab, demanding she give them up. She quickly conjures up a story, telling the king’s men they had left. She insists that the king’s messengers should chase the foreigners down. All the while, the spies are hidden under the flax drying on Rahab’s roof (Joshua 2:4). This exchange sets up the turning point in Rahab’s life!
When she goes up to the roof and uncovers the two men, and before she allows them to sleep for the night, she explains to them that she knows that their God will give Israel the land (Joshua 2:8-9). Rahab then makes the most astonishing statement of all:
For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Joshua 2:11 NIV
In an instance, Rahab’s freedom is secured. She freely admits the Israelites’ God is the one, true living God.
Rahab would let the men go freely, but not without first making an awe-inspiring request. In return for her act of kindness, she boldly asked that she and her family be spared once the Israelites attacked Jericho. In agreement, the spies give her a scarlet cord to hang from her window. With the cord in place as a signal, when the Israelites destroyed Jericho, Rahab and her whole family would be spared.
Rahab had defied a ruler and saved the Israelites. Then, her uncommon faith and confession led to her salvation.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10 NIV
And the Israelite spies would keep their promise, saving Rahab and her entire family at the taking of Jericho. Rahab did not waiver in her newfound faith. She repented and turned to God. Rahab accepted who God said she was despite what she used to be. This heroine of the faith was convicted not condemned. She was free!
From call girl to woman of God to wife of an Israelite, this was Rahab’s reward (Joshua 6:25). She would later become the mother of Boaz and the great-great-grandmother of King David, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. How profound that God not only used her to assist the Israelites as well as to save her own family, but He transformed her into such a woman of faith that He honors her still today. Matthew 1:5 reveals Rahab for all time as a direct descendent in the genealogy of our Lord and Savior.
Walking in God’s freedom will redirect the trajectory of your life! Whatever has happened, happened. We can’t remake our past, but with God there is hope for the future. No matter what has happened in your background, Rahab’s story shows us with God there is grace, peace, and freedom!
Lord God, we thank You for Your word that assures us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death (Roman 8:1-2). If You do not condemn me, I have no right or place to condemn myself. Help me to be like Rahab and to not get caught in the defeating cycle of self-condemnation. Instead, help me to walk in Your worth, believing what You say of me, and being everything You say I am! Amen!
Written by Stacha Ashburn
Please note all scripture was taken from the NIV – New International Version
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