What a Prostitute and a General Teach Us about Faith

Rahab and her family jostled to view the soldiers marching around their city. She counted seven men blowing trumpets, otherwise, no one spoke. Her spine tingled when a couple of the soldiers eyed the red cord hanging from her window.

When would they attack? What were they waiting for?

For six days, the men came, circled the city, and returned to camp. The seventh day began like the previous six, but this time they continued to circle—two, three…seven times. When would they strike? Suddenly, loud trumpets and thunderous shouts made Rahab jump. Her walls shook. Neighbors screamed. Dust stung her nose and eyes. What was happening? How could the spies save her if she lay buried under Jericho’s walls?

Her family bolted for the door, but Rahab was quicker. “No!” she shouted above the clamor, spreading her arms to bar the exit. “We must stay put.”

Faith in Action

The spies didn’t know the walls would collapse when they told Rahab to gather her family inside her home and hang the scarlet cord outside her window. The captain of the Lord’s army hadn’t yet given General Joshua those battle plans. If they had known, surely, they wouldn’t have told her to stay in her house while the walls crumbled. Had they messed up?

Rahab heard the good news about God, responded to His prompting to hide the Hebrew spies, and followed their directions from start to finish. Just as Israel had put lamb’s blood on their doors, she hung the scarlet cord out of her window as a sign of her trust in Yahweh. And death passed over her and her family.

It didn’t matter that the spies didn’t know God’s plan. Nor did it matter that the wall that supported Rahab’s house would disintegrate. What mattered was she trusted the Lord. He was her hiding place and saved her from destruction. Her name lives on as an ancestor of Jesus and an example of faith and God’s grace.

Rahab’s courageous faith moved her to transfer her allegiance from the king of Jericho to the King of heaven. It directed her to hide the spies. Her contagious faith strengthened her to stay planted when every instinct told her to flee when her house shook.

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (Heb. 11:31 NIV).

The Amorites had become so wicked that they sacrificed their own children. Perhaps God waited all those years to destroy Jericho so He could save Rahab and her family and add her bloodline into His Son’s family tree.

Joshua demonstrated faith by having his men march around Jericho day after day when they could not see how their marching made a difference. It didn’t make sense to march seven times as long on the day they would fight. But they obeyed. And God dropped the walls in an instant.

Sometimes we pray and pray and nothing happens. Sometimes God calls us to stay planted when our instincts tell us to flee. This story reminds us not to put our faith in what we see but to trust the invisible God who commanded us to persevere in prayer and obedience. We may be just one lap away from seeing the walls come down.

Sometimes we pray and pray and nothing happens. We may be just one lap away from seeing the walls come down. #RefreshingFaith, #Faith Share on X


We’ve all dealt with problems that were too big to handle. Little Faith, Big God and Little Women, Big God guide you through the stories of biblical men and women who faced big problems but discovered a bigger God. For a limited time, my publisher is offering these books to my readers for 40% off on their website. Rediscover a God bigger than your challenges.

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  1. Ann J Musico

    In light of the past year and what is still going on – this is SO relevant and spot on!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I love how the Bible speaks to where we are. Thanks so much!

  2. Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog

    Love, love, love this, Debbie! I’ve always been a little fascinated by the story of Rahab, and I love how you describe her. I loved this line: “Perhaps God waited all those years to destroy Jericho so He could save Rahab and her family and add her bloodline into His Son’s family tree.” I never thought about that.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ashely, I love Rahab, her bold faith and God’s grace. Thanks so much for reading.

  3. Michele Morin

    I always wonder about how dumb those Israelites felt on those first trips around the wall! What a powerful visual for obedience and perseverance!

    • Debbie Wilson

      LOL! Yes, there’s so many examples in the scripture where God‘s instructions sure look foolish. Thanks for reading Michele.

  4. Laurie

    The story of Rahab and her red cord is one of the most compelling stories of promise-keeping in the Bible. This post made me feel like I was right there with her in Jericho!

    • Debbie Wilson

      I agree, Laurie. I love this story! Thanks for reading.

  5. J.D. Wininger

    Makes me want to fashion and hang a red sash in my east-facing den window my friend. Wonderful post; and equally amazing encouragement. Thank you and God’s blessings Ms. Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      J.D., sounds like a great idea! Tell the world, “I’m trusting Jesus!”

  6. Jeanne Takenaka

    Rahab’s story is such an inspiration. I’m thankful for the lessons in faithfulness in her day . . . and in ours. May we hold fast to faith in the unseen God and to what we know of His character, even when life around us doesn’t make sense.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Jeanne. The unseen is the real. Such a challenge to practice that sometimes. Thanks for reading.

  7. Barbara Latta

    I love your application of this story. It does help us see it through the eyes of the fairh Rahab stood on. Thanks for sharing!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Barbara. Blessings to you!

  8. Jeannie Waters

    Debbie, you share biblical accounts in such an intriguing way. Thank you for reminding us to obey God’s instruction even when results are unseen.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I do love the biblical stories that remind us to trust. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Jeannie.

  9. Yvonne

    Oh, to trust the invisible God, especially when things don’t make sense. I love the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho. I hummed the song as I read your article.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Those childhood tunes are great at bringing back the stories. Thanks, Yvonne!

  10. Katherine Pasour

    I’ve always loved the story of Rahab. It reminds me that God loves all His children and has a plan for us, even when we are on the margins.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Katherine. Thanks for reading.

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