REDEEM: compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).
synonyms: save, compensate for the defects of, vindicate
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. -Hebrews 11:31
Last night I listened to a broadcast of Kenneth Copeland preaching on the topic of how God’s kindness to the rejected is apparent. The focus was on the story of Rahab in Joshua chapter 2 and how she ends up being used by God. The interesting thing about her was that she was a prostitute (“harlot” as the KJV puts it) who finds herself redeemed by God and playing an important role in a Bible story– as well as in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus. In Matthew Henry’s comments concerning Rahab, Matthew chapter 1 in the Matthew Henry Study Bible, he mentions that, aside from her, two other women [of the 4 mentioned in the line to Christ] were considered adultresses and the other a foreigner (an automatic ‘less-than’ during that time period among the people of Israel). Thus, all 4 of them had issues that might disqualify them from positions of respect– even in today’s more tolerant world (at least among certain fundamental sects). It is interesting how God uses what we would reject as unsuitable for the purposes of His kingdom. I venture to guess that there were probably some pretty good, kind people who lived there (by human standards) that were destroyed– yet the prostitute was spared! When I am quick to judge others or look down on them, I am well advised to think about how some of the “Biblical heroes” had some pretty serious shortcomings. How much blood did King David have on his hands? How many wives did “wise Solomon” have? Did Noah not get drunk and find himself in an embarrassing situation? I don’t point these things out to disrespect them as men of faith, but to point out that they too (like the rest of us) fall short of the glory of God and need His grace to establish a relationship with Him. All of them are noted for acts that obviously took some faith to achieve, and yet they all had their serious shortcomings, as well. I am glad to know that, so I don’t feel so all alone. The great accuser would have me think only of myself and how I fail to please God in so many ways. He wants me to think I am unusable by God and thus unloved by remembering all my past sins. The Holy Spirit, however, is glad to point out that, despite all these things, His grace is sufficient. He remembers our sins no more (Isaiah 43:25).
Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. -Matthew 1:5 (NKJV)
And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. -Joshua 6:17