Jms. 2:25 “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?”
When the people of Israel were preparing to attack Jericho spies were sent to reconnoiter. Inside the walls of Jericho they met this woman who had heard what God had done at the Red Sea. God had placed in her heart genuine faith in him! She demonstrated her genuine faith by putting her life in danger in order to protect those men.
It’s kind of sad to me that Rahab is always labeled “The Prostitute”. She could just as well be called “That amazing, one-of-a-kind Jerichoite – the only one who trusted the One True God.” I guess that’s too long, huh?
But I love the fact that her previous occupation did not prevent her from being “considered righteous.” Remember, it wasn’t what she DID that made her righteous. It was the faith God had given to her heart that made her righteous. What she DID proved the genuineness of that faith.
I have heard old-time pastors say there was no grace before Christ. I don’t see how anyone can think that. God demonstrated grace innumerable times throughout Old Testament days. Remember how he said the Israelites were to marry only Israelites? But then Rahab is named as an ancestor of Jesus!! What amazing grace that is! God showered grace on her in giving her, a Jerichoite, saving faith and bringing her into his kingdom, and then making her one of Christ’s ancestors. She was the mother of Boaz who married Ruth, another non-Israelite who was given great grace, brought into God’s kingdom and made an ancestor of Christ. The amazing grace of our wonderful God runs through the pages of the Old Testament. (See Matt. 1:5 for Rahab and Ruth in the line of Christ.)
Jms. 2:26 “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
One more time, for emphasis: Faith without deeds is dead. Saving faith never goes forward alone, unaccompanied by deeds. The faith God gives when he is opening blind eyes and giving spiritual life to spiritually dead souls is a transforming faith that proves its genuineness in obedience to him, in deeds that love and bless people because we are loved by him.