You have probably heard the old saying about the risk of having even one bad apple in the apple barrel—just one rotten apple can rot the rest. That saying is based on scientific fact—a rotting piece of fruit releases, among other things, the gas ethylene, which is a ripening accelerator. Any mold in the rotting apple will also seek to jump to another host site and multiply.
You might think that God would want his children to have nothing to do with people who are society’s “bad apples.” The Pharisees would certainly agree. And yet, God’s grace is rationed out not only to the good boys and girls. His Fatherly heart wants to win back the bad ones too: “Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. ‘Go, look over the land,’ he said, ‘especially Jericho.’ So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there” (Joshua 2:1).
We must assume that Joshua’s scouts did not go to Rahab’s house to rent her services. Rahab learned of their identity, protected them, and decided to join the Israelite nation. The fresh start and her own talent and character inspired Salmon, the head of the tribe of Judah, to marry her. Both the book of Hebrews and the apostle James list Rahab in the catalog of heroes of faith. She and Salmon became great-great-grandparents of King David.
That makes this one-time bad girl also an ancestor of our Savior, Jesus Christ.