Lessons from Wisdom:The Art of Trust

December 3, 2008 at 7:00 am (Articles, Attitudes, Godly Living, W.O.W.) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Posted by Abigail


If I met Rahab on the street, I’d likely pass her by without offering admiration—raised in a foreign country, working to support herself as a prostitute, offering protection to God’s spies through lies and deceit (the only way she knew). Yet the scarlet thread of redemption is woven through her story. She recognized God’s power, His ability, His sovereignty and she cast herself entirely on His mercy. In an epic tale of complete destruction, only Rahab and her family were rescued from God’s certain wrath.


Not because she was beautiful. Not because she was wealthy. Not because she was intelligent or creative or spoke beautifully. Because she trusted Yahweh. Hebrews 11:31 celebrates her alongside Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, the heroes of the faith. “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient…”

In this phrase we see Rahab’s trust demonstrated: obedience. Not just a habit of obedience to anyone—an Ella Enchanted sort of docility—but obedience to the One who commanded her reverence. The essence of obedience begins with fearing Yahweh and understanding His power, His beauty and His worthiness. Because Rahab had heard of the mighty deeds of God Almighty, she welcomed His messengers in peace and offered them shelter to the best of her understanding. This might have seemed a foolish thing to the men of Jericho. The King could have discovered her treachery and strung her from the city wall! But for Rahab, the fear of Yahweh was the beginning of wisdom. Her trust wasn’t simple words. “Yahweh, I trust you. I believe in You.” She began with a declaration of her faith, “Yahweh is God of heaven above and earth below.” But her faith worked its way out through her actions, first in hospitality, then in seeking shelter, in obedience to a command and finally in forsaking her past and embracing God’s ways and God’s people. She acted on her reverence for God and trusted Him to work out the details.

She welcomed the spies in peace. (Hebrews 11:31)

Rahab demonstrated true hospitality—in welcoming strangers. We would do well to learn from her, opening our homes, our resources, our safe-places to those who do the Lord’s work, offering them peace. Jesus says, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you’ve done to Me.” Accepting Jesus means accepting His people for fellowship, protection and assistance. Paul said the widow worthy of honor has “shown hospitality” and “washed the saint’s feet.”

Please deliver our lives from death. (Joshua 2:13)

Rahab had heard the Lord deliver His own people from Egypt and had heard how He had sustained them through the wilderness. She had never witnessed His work for herself when she sought His protection. “Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” She knew He was able to save her as surely as she knew He was able to give Jericho into the hand of the Israelites. So she stepped out in humility and sought God’s mercy. He gives grace to the humble.

Tie this scarlet cord in your window. (Joshua 2:18)

To obey this command could potentially mark Rahab out for ridicule and danger. At the very least, it might have seemed extraneous. Must she really do something so entirely unusual? Didn’t the spies know where she lived? She obeyed a command to stand out, to mark her house as different, to appear odd. The cord served several purposes—it marked her out to all of God’s people as having received His mercy and it set her apart from the rest of the city. But even greater, it required her to trust and obey. In the end, it was the very cord that saved her. As Hebrews puts it, “All of these gained approval through their faith.” Jesus calls us to obedience as well—not always an obedience that we understand the significance of. Rahab’s obedience is a challenge to us to trust God to have a purpose in every scarlet cord.

Joshua spared Rahab and she has lived among Israel to this very day. (Joshua 6:25)

Without a backward glance, Rahab walked away from her world of wickedness, her life of sin and her heritage of selfishness. When she sought God’s mercy, she sought it with a heart to obey. She joined His people and lived in obedience to His law. Our reaction to God’s mercy should be the same. We have been spared a terrible destruction. We have been bought back from a life of sin and shame and given hope through the scarlet cord of redemption. Someone cares for us, protects us and provides for us. Our reaction should be to seek out what we can do to please Him, and do it with our whole heart! Rahab’s trust in Yahweh left behind her a godly legacy—she was the great-great-grandmother of King David, the trusting poet king, and the ancestor of Christ. Her redemption was a small scarlet thread woven into the heritage of the Redeemer of the world.


Rahab’s trust began with her perception that Yahweh was trustworthy. Because He was trustworthy, she believed that He was able to work through any circumstance and any person for her good. But her trust didn’t end with knowledge. It was not lost in a pile of verbose language. It was living, breathing, active obedience. In the same way, our trust of Yahweh should work its way into our lives. After all, trust is a verb. “Trust in Yahweh and DO GOOD.” (Ps. 37:3)

Read the story:

Rahab the Harlot:A Scarlet Cord of Hope


  1. Lessons from Wisdom:The Art of Trust « Pearls and Diamonds | availabl.com said,

    […] Lessons from Wisdom:The Art of Trust « Pearls and Diamonds […]

  2. Karyn said,

    Thanks for sharing this, it’s really great. It’s wonderful to read such encouraging words, especially in the lead up to Christmas. Karyn

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