There are many people who don’t process their past, continuing to live there. Your past doesn’t define your future, of course, unless you let it! 

Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.

Joshua 2:1, NLT, emphasis mine

A Prostitute!

Rahab, like any of us, is a sinner. She was a harlot or prostitute living in Jericho, a Canaanite city. The word prostitute has been forever attached to her name (Joshua 2:1, 3; 6:17-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25). What an identity! 

In our society today, prostitutes are looked down upon. Some people see them as one of the lowest of people who doesn’t deserve to be part of any of God’s church today.

Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. They left the town at dusk, as the gates were about to close. I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them.” (Actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath bundles of flax she had laid out.) 

Joshua 2:4-6, NLT

A Liar!

When the King of Jericho commanded Rahab to give up the two men she hid in her house, she lied to him. She said they went out at dark and she did not know which direction they took. Lying cannot be condoned because it is sin.

Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house. If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death.

Joshua 2:17-19, NLT

But here’s Faith!

The protection that came to Rahab’s household reminds us also of the incident of the Passover in Egypt. God instructed His people to sprinkle blood on the doorposts of their houses. The scarlet cord in Rahab’s window protected her household just as the blood on the doorposts protected the Israelites in Egypt. 

The New Testament makes special mention of Rahab with regard to this. James wrote, “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:25). Rahab had a faith that worked.

A prostitute and a liar, but finally she put her faith in God. Consequently, she was not only saved, but all her people who were with her. In Matthew 1:5, Rahab is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 11:31, she is listed among the heroes of faith!

We are all stalked by them. Things we wish we hadn’t done. Things we’d be ashamed for other people to know about. They make us cringe when we relive them in our heads. Mistakes that haunt our thoughts months or even years after they occur. The PAST drags us down, beats the life out of us continuously day in, day out.

If you are going to find purpose you must let Christ free you from your past. The rear view mirror is not meant for driving ahead, their’s a huge front windscreen for you to look ahead!  Your past is neither your final destination nor your permanent address. In Christ we are a new creation. We can dream again! We can find purpose, we can leave a legacy.  

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB

What about you? Is there something about your past that keeps pulling you back?

Author

Rev. Mutinda Musyimi and his wife, Jennifer, lead City Church Nairobi in Buru Buru, Nairobi, Kenya.

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