“ So Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute and her relatives who were with her in the house, because she had hidden the spies Joshua sent to Jericho. And she lives among the Israelites to this day.” – Joshua 6:25 (NLT)
Who are you unwilling to love?
God has called all believers to love Him with all we have and love people. There is no one outside the love of God and similarly there should be no one outside of our willingness to love. We are to love those who are lovely and easy to be with as well as the least, the lost and the lonely.
Today’s verse talks about a prostitute named Rahab. She is best known for helping the spies of Israel that Joshua sent to Jericho. Her willingness to help the spies resulted in her family being spared when the walls of Jericho fell and the city was captured and destroyed. The Bible says that from that day on she lived among the Israelites. I wonder what it was like for her, a known former prostitute living among God’s people.
Obviously there were at least some of God’s people who reached out, accepted her, and loved her. The reason we know that is because we read about Rahab again in the Bible many years later when Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus Christ, showing his lineage all the way back to Abraham. In listing his ancestors, we read this in Matthew 1:5:
Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab).
Salmon and Rahab were married, and from this love relationship God continued the family lineage that connected Abraham and Jesus the Messiah. Rahab became part of the Messiah’s family tree because there were people in God’s family that weren’t too good to fully accept and love a former prostitute.
If we choose to love or not based on past sins, economics, ethnic background or for any other reason we limit the redemptive power of Christ in the world and could keep people from becoming all they can be in Jesus Christ. Our job is to love and to model a holy life to the world. How many “Rahabs” might God have great plans for today, but they reject God and the church because God’s people have deemed them unworthy of their love? Loving people doesn’t mean we condone sinful behavior, but it does mean we see their worth, value and potential through the loving eyes of God and we are willing to express it.
How about you? Who are the lost, the least and the lonely that you know? Are you willing to engage with them in love that they might know the great potential and redemption that God has established for them in Jesus Christ? Ask God to give you the opportunity to show love to folks like this, and not just who people that are easy to love.