This one-part Bible study considers the faith of Rahab and the ways God uses the least likely to achieve his purposes.
Topics: Biblical Case Studies, Faith
Download a PDF of the Bible study – Rahab: An Unlikely Helper.
Start by asking these questions:
Have you ever needed help, and if you did, what was it?
Who did you expect would help you?
What would you do if a person who you thought was your enemy decided to help you out? How would you feel? Would you trust them?
(The goal of these questions are to get the students thinking about getting help from the person they least expect.)
Israel Prepares to Enter the Promised Land
Lesson: Read Joshua 1:10-18.
What is Joshua telling his men about the land?
That the Lord is giving them the land and they have to trust in Him to deliver them.
How do the men respond?
Look at verses 16-18. They respond with telling Joshua that they will follow any order that he commands.
What specifically do the men say? In other words, how do they pledge their allegiance to him?
The men recognize that Joshua is a called man of God, and because of that, the men will trust Joshua to lead them.
Is there someone in your life who you trust to lead you spiritually? Why do you trust them?
Answers may vary, but you are leading the youth in this lesson, just like Joshua was leading his people to Jericho. Compare yourself to Joshua in the way of the youth trusting you to guide them in the Word. Here’s a hint: if they didn’t trust you, they wouldn’t be there.
The whole reason that the walls of Jericho fell was because of the people behind it. The people of Jericho were against the Lord and everything He was for. They followed the king of Jericho and other idols. Overall, they did evil in the sight of the Lord. In addition, the Lord had promised this land to His people so Israel needed to get rid of everything and anything evil so God’s people could have the land. Not only were the people of Jericho evil, Rahab was a prostitute. Out of everyone who could have helped the spies, a Canaanite prostitute was not someone that they expected. And not only did she help, but she is also in the lineage of Christ! A Canaanite prostitute is in the lineage of grace.
Lesson: Read Joshua 2.
What did Rahab do for the spies?
Rahab hid the spies from the king’s men. Not only did she do that, she didn’t tell the king about the plan that the Israelites had to destroy Jericho.
Rahab didn’t tell the King about the Israelites plan; why is that so important?
If the king had found out that Rahab knew about the Israelites’ plan and withheld the information, Rahab would be punished by death. Rahab had heard about the one true God and trusted in Him to deliver her and her family from His destruction on the people of Jericho. Trusting in the Israelites was a big leap of faith for Rahab.
Have you ever been put into the position of trusting someone you don’t really know? How did that make you feel?
Answers will vary, but try to push the group towards the feeling of nervousness.
How do you think Rahab felt trusting the Israelites?
Connect the idea that Rahab felt the same way the students would have felt if they had to trust someone with their life. Stress the fact that Rahab’s situation meant life or death. You can follow their answers up with, “How would you feel trusting someone who you thought was your enemy with your life?”
How is the trust between Rahab and the spies different than the trust between Joshua and his men? Joshua’s men were willing to give their lives for him. They pledged to die for him and kill anyone who crossed him the wrong way. Rahab had no reason to trust the spies, nor the spies Rahab. But, they did anyway because they had no other choice. It was somewhat like a mutual trust. Note that Rahab said that she heard things about the Israel and their God. This indicates the seeds of faith and could be the reason she decided to trust in Him to deliver her and her family.
Why was Rahab someone the spies least expected to help them?
Rahab was not only a prostitute, she was a Canaanite woman. Those two together made a rather untrustworthy combination. Rahab was literally the last person the spies expected God would use to help
Have you ever felt like you aren’t worthy enough to further God’s Kingdom? Why?
The goal in this question is for the youth to recognize their abilities come from God, not themselves. To further God’s Kingdom requires His help.
What does the story of Rahab say about God’s ability to use “unlikely helpers”? Can God use you as an unlikely helper?
Answers will vary. The purpose of this question is to get the youth thinking about how God can use them in His Kingdom.
How do you think God can use you as an unlikely helper in His Kingdom?
Answers will vary, but if the youth look like they are struggling with it, tell them to turn to Matthew 1:5. Remind them that Rahab is in the lineage of Christ. A Canaanite prostitute is in the lineage of Christ. If God can use a Canaanite prostitute, He can most definitely use you.
Dear Lord, thank You for using unlikely helpers, like Rahab, for Your glory. Help us to remember that You can use all of us to further Your Kingdom. Give us the strength to live each day for You. In Jesus name, Amen.
Published September 2013