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Modeling the Father's Love: Lessons from a prostitute

June 12, 2017
by Theresa With

I wonder if Rahab the prostitute ever gazed into the midnight skies of Jericho and pleaded to an unknown god for rescue. I wonder if she cried tears for herself and her family long before the one night when two spies from another land knocked on her door. The wretchedness of her own life must have come to wear on her. The hopeless bleak existence of her lifestyle of bondage that she endured for the sake of providing for her ‘father’s house’ surely had taken its toll.

Then what was it that propelled Rahab to declare a bold faith in the God of Joshua and his men before she ever knew him? It was stories of hope that she had heard. Stories of One who dried up the Red Sea and brought sweeping victories to the armies of the Israelites. This, at the very least, put a holy fear and awe of their God in her. This compelled Rahab to risk her life for her family. She stepped out on their behalf (and her own), on a hope and belief that this God cared about his people. And God, with his Fatherly love, rewarded Rahab by saving a prostitute and her family.

“But Rahab the prostitute and her father's household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive.” (Joshua 6:25)

In the same way, God lavished his love upon Gomer, one who repeatedly strayed away from God and the husband he had provided for her. God the Father could not leave her in that state. He passionately pursued her through Hosea to demonstrate his desperate love for her, and to remind her of her true identity.

“As indeed he says in Hosea, “… her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” (Romans 9:25)

The story of God is intertwined with the story of man. As the Father has loved us from the beginning, so are we called to demonstrate his love to others. Through acts of faith and obedience that may put us at risk for the sake of others’ well being; through selfless repeated attempts at loving the unlovable; through dying to ourselves and committing our lives to “not my will, but Your will be done.”

We can be the hands and feet, heart and voice of Jesus. We can feed the hungry, serve the homeless, pray for and go to the unreached. We can extend grace and patience to those who don’t deserve it. Even to our enemies we can offer the Father’s forgiveness.

Let’s step out today, and demonstrate our Father’s love to the world around us. Let’s follow in the footsteps of one brave prostitute long ago who chose to believe in a loving God.

How deep the Father’s love for us,

How vast beyond all measure,

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss -

The Father turns His face away,

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.


Links and Resources:

How Deep the Father's Love - song by Selah

How Deep the Father's Love - sermon by Francis Chan




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