About two weeks ago, one of the guys at the private social service agency that I volunteer at called me “little sis”. At first I was unsure who he was talking to. And then the A/G background kicked in and I remember how the Assemblies of God “Brother and Sister” each other as a sign of respect and solidarity. I liked that he called me “Little Sis” and not Sister – somehow it seemed more appropriate and it showed that he respected my disdain for the denominational hang ups that people in “Church” get hung up on. Somehow they treat religion like it’s a political thing and posture and strategize and compete for the attention, the glory and the position.
I have no time for any of this silliness. I’m on a mission to save my own “sisters” and these girls – my girls – don’t get to go to church. They get to go to jail. They get to go to danger. They get to go to a life of regret, missed opportunities. They get to be ostracized from society and considered to be of little importance. The world’s oldest profession has deep roots and the view hasn’t changed much from the bottom up.
In fact, one of the earliest mentions of prostitution came in the form of a brave woman that lived in Jericho right before the Israelites came to conquer it.
Jericho was the first of many battles that the Israelites had to fight and before they took the city Joshua sent two men out as spies. These spies entered the city through the home of a Prostitute named Rehab. The question on how these men of God sent by Joshua managed to end up in the house of a prostitute is a subject for another time…
When the King of Jericho found out he sent his soldiers over to her house to find them. In the highest of courtesan form, she convincingly told them that the spies had already come and gone and she didn’t know where they were but if they hurried, they might be able to catch them. I’ll bet she probably knew one – or both of them – well enough that it didn’t take much more than a sweet smile and the flirtatious lowering of eyelashes to send them on their way.
The soldiers ran to try and find the spies from Joshua, but Rehab had hidden them on her roof and when she went back up to let them know it was safe, she told them that the entire city had heard of these nomads who were the subject of so much gossip throughout the land and they were all very afraid. She told them she was afraid too and that could they please show her and her family kindness after what she had done for them.
They agreed that she would hang a red rope out of her window and gather her family together there and when they came to destroy Jericho, they would make sure that she and her family survived as long as they stayed in the house and didn’t tell anyone about the secret mission they on.
The bible has used Prostitutes throughout as a conduit to show Jesus’ mercy and Gods’ grace. Because they have been thought of as “disposable” or “having no worth”, it always amazed the exhaustively super holy that they were often protected and healed and treated with such respect by Jesus.
Rehab was no exception. She obviously had some kind of relationship with the King of Jericho because he knew right where to send his soldiers to intimidate and extort information from her. But she knew in her heart that the men she was protecting were greater men and from a greater power than the King of Jericho and she made that decision to protect their identity not knowing if they would honor their promise to protect her and her family.
After the battle of Jericho, a miracle in and of itself, Joshua honored the promised the spies had made to Rehab and she and her family were rescued and brought out and lived with the tribe in Israel for the rest of their lives. I like to think that she married a good man and into a good family who loved her and had lots and lots of goats and sheep and cattle that loved her unconditionally.
Rehab must have held onto the end of that red cord that was hanging from her window for dear life for the nearly two weeks it took for Jericho to fall. Imagine the fear and the doubt and the pressure she must have endured from her own family. They must have thought she was crazy to trust in the two men that had made the promise of survival to her. They probably tried to run and get out every time those horns would go off for the seven days the Israelites marched around the city. They probably called her names and tried to demean her and make her feel foolish. When she heard that Israelite “rebel yell” and heard the walls of her whole life crumble around her, she must have been clutching that red rope and begging a God she didn’t even know yet to protect her and save her from the unknown salvation that was coming. She didn’t yet know that redemption was already on the way and that all she had to do was to hang on to that hope and have faith that the promise of freedom was on its way!
Just as Joshua followed the direction of God in the battle of Jericho, let us continue the direction that God is showing us and continue to let him open doors that we don’t even know are there. As we march around the city of Orlando making contacts and looking for the method and the means to rescue our own “Rehabs”, let us know with all our heart and soul that when we blow those trumpets and yell, that God has already provided for our success and the “walls” will crumble and the opportunity for law enforcement cooperation and the money to build the facilities that we need will be there. Let us be triumphant in our quest to that has brought us so far so fast. Let us already be aware that God knows what we need to get it done.
Keep marching. Keep the Faith. Keep taking steps forward and know that God will set our feet on firm and solid ground.
DON’T LET GO!