If you were to crumble up, step on, and tear a one-hundred-dollar bill in half, it would not lose its value despite all of its unfortunate circumstances. In this look at the story of Rahab, Tony Evans wants to remind you that your past does not affect your value in the eyes of God. Learn how He can take any mess and turn it into a miracle when you just let Him see your faith.


hello everyone this is dr tony evans

with the urban alternative

and i’m excited to welcome you to join

us on a journey

a journey through hebrews 11

it’s known as the hall of faith

where men and women

discovered what god can do


god’s people


to live walk and act

by faith

the beautiful thing is it’s not just

about them

it’s about us

as the author of hebrews writes to new

testament believers

that’s who we are

about how

the lives of old testament saints who

learn to live by faith should challenge

and affect

our lives as we live by faith

so we’re excited to welcome you on this

journey it’s going to be an exciting

trip we’re going to learn a lot

most importantly we’re going to be

transformed by the truth

what it means to be a kingdom hero

who lives by faith


what we’ve been doing is walking through

the personalities of the old testament

as they’ve been written for us in the

new testament

in hebrews chapter 11

and we’ve been touring as in a museum

the hall of faith and looking at the


the men and women of renown who god has

placed for the new testament church out

of the old testament scripture for us to

emulate when it comes to living by


as we now come toward the end of this

series and the end of this chapter

we come across a most unlikely candidate

for our faith museum

we come across a most unlikely hero

for us to be analyzing

and that is a lady named rahab the


of all the people who are in this text

you would think she doesn’t belong

first of all

she’s a gentile she’s not a jew

she doesn’t she doesn’t belong to the

people of god by her historical


she comes out of a world of pagan


but worse than all of that was rahab’s


she’s called rahab the harlot

i mean why couldn’t god just say rahab

why you got to tell us what she did for

a living

she seems like an unlikely candidate

for this hall of faith

because we’re told right off the bat

rahab the harlot in fact

chapter 11 30 verse 31 reads this way

by faith the harlot rahab did not perish

with those who did not believe

when she received the spies with peace

the story of rahab that’s summarized in

chapter 11 verse 31 of hebrews is

explained to us in chapter 2 of the book

of joshua

in the book of joshua we find out the

story of this lady of the evening named


we talked about joshua fitting the

battle of jericho and walking around the

walls well

rahab lived in jericho

joshua sent two spies in the jericho

to spy out the land before

they would uh take over the country

through the supernatural power of god

collapsing the walls

we’re told in chapter 2 of joshua verse


that rahab’s house

was built into the wall

at the gate

so as strangers went out or citizens

came in they would pass by the red light


we’re told in joshua chapter 2 which

gives us the story that’s summarized in

hebrew 11 these words

they sent two spies in

and they came to the house verse 1 of

chapter 2 of joshua of rahab the harlot

and lodged there

it was told the king of jericho saying

that these spies had come in to rahab’s

house so somebody saw the spies go into

the harlot’s home

so verse 3 says the king of jericho sent

to rahab saying bring out the men who

have come to you who have entered your

house for they have come to search out

the country so they not only were


it was known while they were there they

were israel spies who was trying to who

were trying to sneak into jericho and

they snuck into this harlot’s house and


saw them and turned them in

so the king sent some messengers to get

these guys

but when they came

the woman took the two men verse 4 and

hid them

and said to the people who came looking

for them verse four yes the men came to


and i did not know where they were from

and it happened as the gate was being

shut when it was dark that the men went

out where the men went i do not know

pursue them quickly for you may overtake


that’s called a lie

a girlfriend is telling a bold face


she had hidden them upstairs

when they said the king sent the men to

get him she said oh they left they left

us before dark and if you hurry up you

might be able to find them

she lied

so that raises the question when is it

okay to lie

all right because i know some people

think it’s always okay to lie

here you have a scenario with two sins

on the table

the lie is a sin the bible calls lying a


yet at the same time

turning in the servants of god

to be killed as spies

would be a sin

so you have two sins on the table the

same thing that happened in exodus when

the hebrew wives gave birth and lie that

the children

came before the the midwives could get

there in time it was a lie and yet the

bible says god blessed the midwives and

they lied

whenever you have two sins on the table

and there is no other option any option

you take is a sin

then you must make the choice

to choose the option that will bring god

the greatest glory

whenever you have two sins and those are

the only options you have

then you must make the decision

that god’s name would be honored the


so she makes the decision not to turn in

the spies and she’ll tell you why in

just a second

but to lie to the king

and to his messengers why does she

choose the lie

she goes on to say

verse 9 she said to the men

i know that the lord has given you this

land that the terror of you has fallen

on us and that all the inhabitants of

the land are faint-hearted because of


for we have heard how the lord dried up

the water of the red sea for you

when you came out of egypt and what you

did to the two kings of the amorites who

were on the other side of jordan

verse 11 and as soon as we heard these

things our hearts melted

neither did they remain any more in

carriage in anyone because of you for

the lord your god he is the god in

heaven above and on earth


she said we heard about y’all

more than that we heard about your god

we heard about how he delivered you from

egypt opened up the red sea defeated the

the kings on the other side of jordan we

have heard about your god

i have made the decision to align with

you and your

god now she was not given any more

information than anybody else

because she uses the plural we in us

we heard

we were afraid

the message has been delivered to us but

in the middle of everybody knowing i

have made a different decision than

everybody else

everybody else wants to get rid of you

kill you and destroy you i choose to be

identified with you therefore i will

hide you

okay watch this

she made a decision against the culture

because the culture had all heard about

israel but she says i am not watch this

going to align myself with the culture

i’m going to align myself with the lord

but because she made the radical

decision to align herself with the lord

even so even though that meant she would

be disaligned with the culture we’re

still talking about rahab today and her

name has been recorded in the hall of


so my question first and foremost by

faith is who are you aligning yourself


because if you’re seeking the popularity

of the world you may go down with the


if you’re seeking the notoriety of the

culture you may go down with the culture

every serious christian comes to that

place in life

when you’re going to have to choose the

lord or the crowd

you’re going to have to choose the lord

or popularity you’re going to have to

choose the lord or notoriety

one of the realities of being committed

to christ is sometimes you find yourself

by yourself

because everybody else had turned them


but rahab the prostitute

made the decision

i am going to align myself with god even

though that means i will not be aligned

with the culture after she makes her

decision watch this now

she cuts the deal

she says verse 12 therefore in light of

my decision to choose god


beg you

swear by the lord

since i have shown you kindness that you

also will show kindness

to my father’s house

give me a true token spare my father my

mother my brothers my sisters and all

that they have and deliver our lives

from death so the men answered her our

lies for yours

if none of you tell this business of

ours it will be when the lord has given

us this land that we will deal kindly

and truly with you

then she let them down by a rope through

the window for the house was on the city

wall and dwelt on the wall

she cuts the deal now stay with me here

she says i chose god

i chose god over the culture

so when god turns this when god shuts

this mama down

when god turns this place out

i want you

to cover me and my family

she uses a hebrew word

and is translated in your bible kindly

it’s from a hebrew word pronounced hesed

hesed refers to god’s loyal covenantal

covering love

it was god’s covenantal word for how he

would cover his people

the word hessen kindly

i want you to cover me

when god destroys


she wants to be


so she expresses the covering she wants

by saying protect me and the family

and the spies say okay i want you to

bring all your family into your house

and when we shut this place down

everybody in your house will be


in other words they won’t collapse with

everybody else

now watch this

she cut a deal

she cut a deal based on a decision

the decision was a faith decision

because she had to go against the

culture in order to choose god

she made a stay with me here she made a

faith decision

and then cut a deal

okay now you heard me but i don’t know

if you heard me

she made a faith decision

and then she cut a deal

that’s not how we do it

we cut a

deal and then we say now god

do what i ask you to do

and if you do what i ask you to do this

is what i will do

but that’s not faith that’s sight

because you’re not responding until he

comes through

so when he comes through you promise him

god bless me with money then i’ll tithe

god bless me with a new job and then

i’ll represent you at work god bless me

with it and then i will

that’s the wrong song that’s backwards

christian soldiers

no no no

she cut a deal

after she made a faith choice

the faith choice must precede the deal

you want god to do something for you

with you by you from you before you’ve

ever exercised any faith that you don’t

see yet

and without faith it’s impossible to

please god god wants to see your faith

before he’ll cut your deal

he wants to see that you trust him

without seeing before he gives you

something to see which doesn’t take

faith now for you to respond to

because without faith it is impossible

to please god he wants to see you take

your step of faith

without seeing him opening up the red

sea without seeing him opening up the

jordan river without seeing him destroy

pharaoh without seeing how he’s going to

do whatever he’s going to do next he

wants to know that you trust his

integrity before you cut your deal

and so she cuts the deal they march

around jericho seven times on saturday

they blow the trumpets

and the walls start collapsing that


one piece of the wall

because verse 15 says her house was on

the wall

so when all the wall collapsed there was

this one piece of wall standing

where her house attached to it

she got a miracle covering by god

a miracle covering by god

she was delivered

one of the reasons why we are not

experiencing more deliverance is god is

seeing not enough faith

he’s seeing christians who live by sight

and if you live by sight you’re not

living by faith and if you’re not living

by faith

you won’t see or you’ll be limited in

what you see of the supernatural hand of

god moving in your midst

but one of the most exciting things to

see is when you live by faith god

responding to your faith because you

made your decision upfront

you trusted him in advance


and so she not only saved her own life

she says she saved her family’s life

chapter six of joshua tells us that the

walls came down

rahab and her family were kept safe

and then it says

that she was transported to israel


so we find in chapter six of joshua she

now because jericho has been destroyed

she’s now transported

and now a prostitute becomes a proselyte

a proselyte is somebody adopted into the

jewish family

so a prostitute


a hole

is escorted into the covenantal people

of god

the prostitute becomes a proselyte

while in israel she meets a man

the man’s name is salman

let me tell you a little bit about


we’re told in first chronicles chapter 2

verse 51


solomon was the father of bethlehem

i mean he built the city of bethlehem

so girlfriend winds up in israel

and meets an affluent


salmon who is the architect for a whole


of babylon

salmon falls in love


rahab the prostitute

salmon has to know she’s a prostitute

because of the circumstances in which

she came part of israel and says that’s

not hidden in the bible

salmon falls in love and marries a


you say how do i know salmon fell in

love and married a prostitute

because in matthew chapter 1 verse 5

going through the lineage of jesus


it says and there was salman

who was married

to rahab

and through


they had a baby boy named boaz

that shifts us to the book of ruth


boaz is riding through the field and he

sees ruth

he falls in love with ruth

boaz marries ruth

ruth has a baby named obed

obed has a baby named jesse

jesse has a baby named david

and david

is the lineage of jesus christ

so rahab

the prostitute

who becomes rahab the price of light

now marries an upscale family in israel

and becomes the great great grandmother

of king david

and is written in scripture as part of

the high-class ladies in the lineage of

jesus christ

if god can take a prostitute

get her married off to somebody special

and put her in the lineage of jesus


i don’t know what you did and how long

you’ve done it all i know is your past

doesn’t have to control your future

if god could ever get a hold of you and

you choose god over the crowd

god is able to take a mess

and turn it into a miracle


but that ain’t all

when james was writing his epistle

he came to chapter 2 of the book of


and he wants to tell you faith without

works is dead beginning in chapter 2

verse 14.

and he says faith without works is dead

and he says let me illustrate what i’m

talking about

the first illustration he comes up is

with abraham and he says abraham offered

up isaac by faith but faith wasn’t words

he had to act on what god says and he

offered up isaac to demonstrate the

power of faith he says let me tell you

another example as he concludes chapter

two he said let me tell you about rahab

again the harlot

she exercised faith when she received

the spies and sent them out another way

and watch this

you see she was not justified by faith


she was justified




rahab is used to give us another

theological concept

it’s called justification by works

that’s what james calls it

let me explain the difference

justification by faith what paul talks

about in romans chapter of three in

romans chapter four is where you trust

jesus christ alone is your sin bearer

and you trust him for the forgiveness of

sins and you believe in him to give you

the gift of eternal life that’s

justification by faith free of charge by

grace through faith nothing you can do

to earn it it’s justification apart from

works you cannot earn a relationship

with god you must trust christ and he

gives you forgiveness and he gives you

eternal life that’s justification by


but that’s not what james is talking

about james talked about a whole

different justification he talks about

justification by works that’s different

when you accept christ that takes you to


justification by works is when god

brings heaven to you justification by

faith is apart from works

justification by works is faith

demonstrated by function

and what faith demonstrated by function

did was save her on earth

because she was protected

you see many of god’s children are

living uncovered

you may have trusted christ to go to

heaven but far too many of us will never

see heaven till we get there

because there’s no justification by


justification by works is when you act

on your faith which frees god up to

respond to you in history to respond to

you in the nasty here and now not just

in the sweet by and by it is when you

declare i want to be identified with

jesus christ and i’m going to make my

choices by faith even though that means

i’m so low in it i’m i’m against the

crowd and then i cut a deal with heaven

for the needs i have on earth

if you want to see god visit you in

history let him see some faith

let him see you acting like he’s telling

the truth even when you can’t see any

result let him see your faith and then

you’ll see him work

then you’ll see him visit you in history

so the message of rahab the harlot

is that god can work

on your today in spite of your yesterday

if you will choose him by faith that


i don’t care how your past has crushed


dirtied you and tore you up in the right

hands you still retain your value

for a living god

ray have the hardest name ray have the

harlot ray have the harlot ray have the

harlot ray have the harlot you keep

telling me

that she’s a harlot

because god wants you to know

that no matter how messed up your past

is if you will choose him by faith over

the crowd over the circumstances over

the popularity over the money over

whatever it is if you will choose him by


his heffed covering

is yours now what deal do you want to


i don’t care how much dirt and trash

that is in your yesterday

if you’ll let the grace of god step on

top of that

he can bring you out a better person

than you ever knew you could be

rahab the harlot tells you

it tells me

god can reverse that thing

if he can get you to choose him

by faith


most of us have to be delivered from


from the repercussions of our history

and background

abuse misuse

from negative reputation and

repercussions of decisions made in the


delivered from


and needing help to get through

adverse circumstances

the need for deliverance is a part of


the beautiful thing is when we learn to

live and walk by faith

we invite god’s delivering presence and

power into our circumstances

to flip them inside out

upside down

and even hit a bull’s-eye with a crooked


turn the lemons of yesterday into the

lemonade of today

turn our messes into miracles our god is

a god of deliverance