Do you ever feel like you are “too” broken to be used by God? I know I have days when I get so caught up in all the negative and ugly things I’ve said and done. It makes me wonder how God could ever use someone so full of sin like me to build His Kingdom. I wonder what kind of good I could possibly contribute when everything I touch seems to break.
Here’s the thing, dear friends: God has used and continues to use broken people just like you and me to do amazing and powerful things for His Kingdom–each and every day! To prove it, it doesn’t much looking to find a Bible story that features someone equally as broken as the rest of us, who now remains an important pillar in the history of our faith. Have you ever heard of a woman named Rahab?
“Rahab the Harlot”
The Battle of Jericho, found in Joshua 6, is a well-known Bible story among Christians. (You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head now.) In a nutshell, the Israelites followed God’s order to march around the city, the walls miraculously fell down, and they conquered the city. It’s a pretty crazy story line if you really think about it.
But what they didn’t teach you about in Sunday school was the story behind Rahab. Sure, we know her as the women who hid the two Israelite spies from the king when they went to get a good look at the city for Joshua. And, in return, we know that they granted her and her family protection when the Israelites took over Jericho. Well, I did some additional digging on Rahab’s story…
First of all, Rahab lived in Jericho, which meant she belonged to the Canaanite nation. If you know anything about the Canaanites, you know that they were some of the most evil and corrupt people featured in the Old Testament. They were an idolatrous, sinful, heathen nation. And Rahab was one of them. Not only this, but in Joshua 6:25, Rahab is referred to as “Rahab the harlot” (KJV). The New International Version translates this same verse to call her “Rahab the prostitute.” They definitely left this detail out of the children’s story books! Rahab was clearly living a sinful and broken life. And yet, God chose to use her in His story in a pretty incredible way.
Rahab: Broken but Redeemed
So, we’ve already established that Rahab was an imperfect, sinful human being like you and me. But let’s talk about her story of redemption.
During the story of the spies in Joshua 2, Rahab tells the two men, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you” (verse 9). Rahab had heard the miraculous things the Lord was doing for the Israelites–the parting of the Red Sea and victory over the Amorites. God began to change her heart, and in return, she began to fear Him. So much so, that she decided to betray her own people to protect God’s men from her king.
Rahab, even in all her brokenness, played a vital role in this story of deliverance at Jericho. And in the end, she and her family were saved from the fate the rest of her people faced.
Rahab’s story doesn’t end after Jericho, though. Once the city was conquered, not only had her life been spared, but she was also taken in by the Israelites to live among them. In Matthew 1:5 we learn that later on, Rahab ended up marrying Salmon, one of the spies she had sheltered. And they bore a son–Boaz. (Are the names starting to sound familiar yet?) Rahab was an ancestor in the line of Jesus Christ! Boaz married Ruth, and they had a son–Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of King David, and so on and so forth. What a great ending to Rahab’s redemption story! She got to play an essential role in bringing our Savior into this world.
We’re Never “Too” Broken for God
Who doesn’t love a good story of redemption? It’s stories like these that make my heart soar with encouragement when I’m feeling the weight of all my sin and brokenness on my shoulders. Rahab was a lowly prostitute, living in an evil and heathen nation. And yet, God chose to use her. If God can use someone like Rahab as part of the story of Jesus Christ, then who is to say that He can’t use you and me for something incredible, too?
We can all have our very own story of redemption. God is waiting for us to come back to Him, even in all our sin, so that He can redeem us and use us to bring His Kingdom here on earth. We can accomplish so much more good when we allow God to use us, rather than if we try to go out on our own. Because of our sin, if we don’t allow God to take the reigns, we are sure to fail.
Friends, we are never “too” broken for God to fix. He’s in the business of taking broken things, and making them shiny and new! Run to God today. He is standing there with open arms, waiting for you to ask Him to redeem you from your brokenness. He wants nothing more than to make you whole again, and then use you for His glory. You will be amazed by the work He can complete through you.