It’s not the one with the thick lush hair or the one with the golden smile. It is also not the one with the “A” list talents that can do it all and do it well. In fact, when the Bible is talking about investing our talents, it is not speaking of outward manifestations of skill, performance and their subsequent use. Being a good steward of our talents is not an increase of works but increase of our conscious connection to God in the choices that we make in everyday life. A perfect God working through imperfect people through grace–if not for grace we could not even have this mental and spiritual acumen at all.
Distinctive women in scriptures were often unprestigious by the world’s standards
For example, Mary the mother of Jesus was described as being from a lowly state; Ruth was considered a foreigner; Esther was an exiled orphan, and lastly Rahab’s actions by our standards of Christian morality would seem tainted at the very least. In her lauded works of faith, we find great moral discrepancy. She was first off a prostitute, not a typical vessel one might see carrying out divine plans of faith. Secondly, while performing this holy endeavor, she blatantly lies and deceives when confronted. Where is the moral fiber in this story? Wouldn’t we say of Rahab that she came up short in deposit of talents in the spiritual bank?
Indeed not. Rahab pictures perfectly for us the stewardship of conscious connection to God. What we see pouring out of her life is faith-works wrought through grace. The grace God had given her opening her mind to His reality. It was a work done inside her heart. Knowing very little about theology of the Hebrew God, she simply believed. That belief in turn spurred in her actions moved by her conscious connection to the Living God. Faith! A sure conviction that He was indeed true.
God chooses the foolish, weak, lowly, and despised
Interesting that God would use such a rough, uncouth and imperfect person in bringing about the rescue of his people. Is it ironic that God would add to His “A” list a woman that wore a proverbial “A” (as in adulterer) across her chest? I think not. Rahab is no exception to the rule. In fact, she leads the charge for all of us who recognize our need for amazing grace.
This is not a random story that happened to make it into the Bible but the way God is pleased to work. He chooses the broken and least of the world, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).
True acts of faith showcase God, not us. A talent that puts us on stage can’t multiply. Sure, Rahab may have turned over a new moral leaf in life after these historical events took place. I am sure with God’s help she did. But those are not the things listed of her in the hall of faith recorded in Hebrews 11. God did not give Rahab the idea that she had to get her act together in order to be used mightily of Him. It was all a part of His grace reaching down and opening up her heart to Him. Seeds of grace God planted in Rehab’s heart that sprung forth and multiplied.
We are a part of this counter-cultural plan
Dare I even say that we are even a direct product of this faith-work. Absolutely! This is our spiritual lineage. She is one of the matriarchs listed in the genealogy of Christ. So the next time we entertain thoughts about the ideal Christian woman image, we can think of Rahab. She was an “A” lister — not because she was anything to look at, or anyone one of prominent standards or had any tangible giftings or ability to leads others. Her greatest talent that divinely and magnificently multiplied was her wholehearted trust in God’s performance and not her own.
Paula Masters is the author of “Exceptional Bloom: Coming Alive After Fifty” and the founder of True Source Ministries, an online ministry to hurting women, found at tsmwomen.org as well as next-is-now.com an online online community group for women over fifty . She stays connected with her readers on her “Over Fifty And Fabulous” facebook page and online at OverFiftyandFab.com.