Boaz, whose mother was Rahab… Matthew 1:5 NIV
I feel so encouraged by this part of the genealogy of Jesus. Rahab, a prostitute, was perhaps in her profession because she didn’t have any other options to stay alive. Maybe she was a widow with no means of support or maybe men in her life had forced her into this lifestyle. We don’t know. But what we do know is that she had a heart for God. She had heard of the Israelite God and she believed that he was the true God. She put her life at risk and helped the Israelite spies to escape from Canaan after they had promised to spare her and her family’s lives. She was convinced that God would give victory to the Israelites.
Later we read about Ruth, another non-Israelite, who chose to follow the God of the Israelites. Boaz treated this foreign woman with amazing respect. Was he thinking about his mother when he protected Ruth? He was so honorable and kind to her, and even married her when he could have married an Israelite woman. Rahab raised her son to be a godly man, and he set a wonderful example for all men to follow. An obscure prostitute who did what she could to further God’s kingdom is now read about by millions of people around the world. She stands as a powerful example of God’s grace and reminds me that God can use me to encourage others, too.