One of my favorite books has always been the well-known Unashamed: Lineage of Grace book #2 by Francine Rivers, which, like A Pearl In The Sand, is also a fictional account of the life of Rahab. So, when I first picked up this book I was a little doubtful that it would measure up to my expectations.
I was pleasantly surprised!!
While Rivers concentrated on considering the faith of this woman prior to the walls of Jericho falling, the author of this book, Tessa Afshar encouraged her readers to ponder the faith of this woman after the walls came down.
In her opening notes, she writes:
“We only know that Salmone married Rahab and had a son by her, and that Jesus Himself counts this Canaanite harlot as on of His ancestors. On how such a marriage came about or what obstacles it faces, the Bible is silent.” – Tessa Afshar
Even though the Bible does not give much detail about Rahab’s passage from life as a harlot to life among God’s people, Afshar uses the small portion of information we do have, and blends it together with other historical, biblical and geographical information to paint a beautiful picture of what that transition may have looked like…
The walls of Jericho have fallen. She has been invited to dwell among God’s people, free from the life and free from the gods she despised.
Imagine the joy, excitement and wonder that accompanied her. The thrill of the unknown.
But also, the guilt and shame she must have felt. Imagine the fears that tormenting her as she walked into the Israelite camp. Would she be accepted by the people? Would they really receive a Canaanite harlot? Would she be able to survive their lifestyle – away from the luxuries and pleasures of Jericho?
Would she ever be worthy of a man’s love? Could a man ever really love her? The reality of her life up to this point has told her ‘no’!
So as the Lord begins to soften Salmone’s hardness towards her, He must also begin to bring down the walls she has built around her heart.
I could not put this book down! The struggle of emotions and the battle between fear and faith developed in Rahab’s character was authentic and extremely plausible and relate-able.
As I turned page after page I found myself encouraged, provoked and inspired as I considered the faith this woman – and completely overwhelmed by the kindness, mercy, forgiveness, grace and favor of our God.