Where you are today is not where you will stay. Who you are today is not all you will become. God is in the divine business of making you more than you could imagine and taking you to places beyond your wildest dreams.
Who you have been does not define you. What you have done does not cancel the destiny God has planned for you. There is so much more beyond this. Let me prove it.
In Biblical times there were laws which said certain sins were punishable by stoning. These were sins considered to cause irreparable damage to a person’s value and worth. One such sin was prostitution. A woman found guilty of prostitution was to be killed by a circle of people throwing rocks at her. A slow, agonizing death, watched by those who were better than, holier than, more valuable than this woman who had sold herself.
But God stepped into the life of a woman caught in prostitution and changed the world through her. She was not damaged beyond repair. She was not a shameful soul to be discarded. She was not dirty and unwanted. She was chosen. Yes, even in her sin. Even when the law said she deserved death by stoning, God said she was chosen for a life of greater purpose.
Her name was Rahab. We first read about her in Joshua 2. Here’s all we know about Rahab, she’s a prostitute. Verse 1, “So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.”
Men of God were in her house. They knew she was a prostitute. By law they had every right to drag her out into the street and gather others to stone her. But they didn’t. Instead, they asked for her help. Help hiding from their enemies. And because Rahab knew they were men of God, she hid them and ultimately saved their lives. In return, God saved her and her family. Joshua 6:17, “But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.”
Rahab the prostitute. Living in a sin considered to cause irreparable damage to her value and worth, yet God considered her worthy to save. God deemed her value to be greater than everyone else in the city of Jericho, and only she and her family were spared when the walls of Jericho came down.
Why would God not only do this, but why would he be sure it was included in his word for us to read today? Why wouldn’t he just drop her label and let her be known as a faithful woman who believed in God? Why would he have her story be told and include that she was a shamed and lowly prostitute? Oh, I know why … because he wants his girls to hear him loud and clear today. Hear him say this: Nothing in your past cancels the good plans I have for you. Nothing you have ever done erases what I have done for you. I can still use you! Your life is still of tremendous value in my eternal plans.
This isn’t the end of Rahab. Her name shows up again in the most treasured place a name could possibly appear, the lineage of Jesus. Yes, Rahab the prostitute becomes the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz. To become a wife, we know her life changed. She changed. She stepped out of who she was and what she had done to become a wife and mother. Rahab wasn’t who she used to be.
How could she overcome what she had done and who she had become? Real simple … the power of God! God changed the trajectory of her life because of her faith, and he deemed her worthy of being one of only five women named in the lineage of Jesus. She was that important. Her story was that important. Out of 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus, Rahab was an integral part of the divine selection.
Not stoned. Not unworthy. Not discarded. Not dismissed. No, chosen! Included. Used. Valued. Worthy.
Matthew chapter 1 is titled “The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah” and verse 5 says, “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.”
Rahab. No longer Rahab the prostitute. Now, Rahab the great grandmother of Jesus. Rahab the precious womb that would birth future generations bringing us the Messiah. God could have used any woman, but he intentionally chose Rahab. He could have even chosen to leave out the details of her stained past so we would know nothing of her other than being the great grandmother of Jesus. But, he left that detail for us. He not only left that detail, but he intentionally included that detail.
Why? So that girls like me and you … girls with less than perfect pasts, shames, regrets and guilts, struggles, stains and problems … yeah, those girls … us girls … so that we could know none of that matters once you put your faith in God. It is our faith in God alone that pleases him. Not our perfect past. Not our spotless record of always getting it right. Not our successes.
I have a dear friend named Catherine. I call her my friend now because we’ve gotten to share life together. She was originally a podcast listener who pressed play in desperation, fighting an alcohol addiction that had stolen every good thing in her life. She hit her rock bottom, and there she found a faithful God who had never given up on her. Now, Catherine is this powerhouse of a woman who boldly shares her story of addiction and destruction turned into purpose and passion with complete forgiveness and healing. As of next month, she will be leading an official weekly AA meeting on Zoom for BIG Life girls.
This is a girl who God has hand selected out of the pits of hell where addiction had drug her, and is now using her to rescue others. This is redemption. She is no longer Catherine the alcoholic … she is Catherine the light of hope. She is the girl who has been in those pits, who God says is part of a greater plan to empty those pits!
I don’t know who you used to be and where you have come from. But I know this much … God isn’t shying away from you one bit! He’s running right to you, to save you, heal you, rescue you, restore you, and then use you for greater purposes than you can possibly imagine.
God changes labels and rewrites stories. From Rahab the prostitute in Joshua chapter 2, to Rahab, a great grandmother of the Messiah, Jesus in Matthew chapter 2. From Catherine the alcoholic in 2015, to Catherine the game changer in 2023. From Pamela the girl who gave up on her purpose in 2017, to Pamela the voice that helps you wake up today.
What story is God rewriting for you? What new label does he have for you?