“Seriously?” I complained, “What were they thinking?”
We’ve all been there, blindsided by disappointment when someone we love did something careless, hurtful or sinful. It went against everything we stand for, and everything we wanted them to stand for.
Sometimes it’s a one-and-done event that scared them straight, other times it’s a series of bad decisions that led to a life of trouble and heartache, Sadly, every family eventually faces it, even prominent biblical families:
- Jacob and his vengeful sons in Genesis 34,
- Eli and his wicked sons in 1 Samuel 2,
- David and his murderous sons in 2 Samuel 13.
Although the historical account is missing, we can assume the family of Rahab (Joshua 2) experienced a similar disappointment when their daughter chose the life of a harlot.
Prostitution isn’t a vocation many little girls dream about. We don’t know what drove Rahab into that life, but today some choose it as a means to support themselves or a drug habit. Others are sold into that life by their impoverished families. Many are forced to become sex slaves by greedy, twisted kidnappers. It’s a dark, lonely existence.
Desperate for a sense of love, security, and dignity, they do their jobs. But deep inside, a part of their spirit shuts down.
Rahab was no different, but somewhere in her loneliness and poverty of spirit, the God of the Israelites saw something special. Of all the residents of Canaan, He revealed Himself to her.
Two Israelite spies listened as she whispered a truth hidden deep within her soul:
“I know that the LORD has given this land to you…
for the LORD your God is God
in heaven above
on the earth below…”
~Joshua 2:11 (NIV)
Her tragic circumstances tendered her heart to Him, and God looked beyond what she was and saw who she could be – a defender of His children!
God had a special blessing in store for this prodigal as well. Not only did He deliver her and her family, but also restored her dignity by giving her a husband – an Israelite man named Salmon. The son she bore him not only secured her place in the tribe of Judah, but also in the lineage of God’s Son!
Is there a prodigal in your life? Can you believe that God knows something you don’t and sees something you can’t?
“[Love] bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.”
~1 Cor 13:7 (NASB)
God wants to help us live out and demonstrate this kind of love, and sometimes that involves various degrees of tough love. But in every love we can:
Believe God has a plan for their lives,
Hope for their best and allow God to give us a redemptive vision for them,
Speak truth into their lives, and
Pray for them during their ups and downs, and ask the Lord to bring others across their path who would point them to God’s truth.
NO ONE is outside God’s ability or desire to redeem, including our prodigals. And according to Ephesians 3:20, He can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think!