Charles H. Spurgeon
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies in peace.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? (James 2:25).
These are two New Testament summaries of the life of Rahab, and they are equally honorable to her. Paul puts her among the great worthies who by faith wrought wonders. The eleventh chapter of the Hebrews is a triumphal arch to the soldiers of faith, and among the illustrious names inscribed thereon is the name of this harlot of Jericho. We are not, however, so much surprised at that, for she was evidently an instance of great faith. But we are somewhat surprised, I think, to find her name recorded by James, because he is an eminently practical writer and was writing of good works rather than of faith. His object is to show that the faith which justifies the soul is a faith which produces good works, and hence he looks for instances of holy service of God. We should not have thought that he would have singled out Rahab, but he has done so, and this is the more remarkable because the only other person whom he mentions is Abraham-Abraham the Father of the Faithful, the Friend of God, a perfect and an upright man. James cites Abraham as standing for the one sex and Rahab the harlot for the other. I have no doubt that James knew what he was about and that the inspiration which guided him was infallible. Possibly Rahab was chosen to represent the Gentiles in connection with the founder of Israel, who fitly stood for the Jews. While Abraham possessed a faith which manifested itself by works, so also did Rahab, the daughter of the Gentiles, descended from a race doomed to destruction, a Gentile of the Gentiles. And possibly another reason for mentioning her may be this, that like as Abraham renounced his own kindred at the call of God and came forth from Ur of the Chaldee ...
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