God loves the unlovely. There’s no greater proof of this than His frequent interactions with prostitutes in the Scriptures. In Joshua 2 we see spies of Joshua hide in the home or inn of a prostitute named Rahab. She not only hid them but protected them as the king of Jericho searched for them. In v. 11-13 we see Rahab proclaiming the Israelites God as the One True God and Savior. In v. 14 and 17-19 we see God’s grace for not only Rahab but her entire family despite her past and character. She is later mentioned as an ancestor of Christ in Matthew 1:5 and praised for her faith in Hebrews 11:31.
This is not the only time we se God’s great grace and love for the prostitute. From the story of Gomer in the book of Hosea to Jesus’ frequent dinner parties with them in the Gospels. You may think, why prostitutes? Just think about the stereotypes that come with this now illegal vocation. Illegal activities such as human trafficking and drugs. Sexually transmitted diseases, lust, secret liasons with husbands and abuse. Family members usually avoid or shy away from them yet God loves them. It’s why God’s love is so powerful to them. In a lifestyle that exemplifies sin and shame, they find refuge and love in a Heavenly Father who extends love, grace and forgiveness. It’s ultimate proof that our God loves those who think that they are so far away from Him that He would never accept them or forgive them. Every time we come to a story in the Bible where God extends grace and forgiveness to the sinner we should be reminded of Jesus’ own words in Mark 2:17: “I came for the sick, not the healthy, for the sinners, not the righteous.” when being criticized for hanging out with the bad people.
So who are the “unlovely” in your world that God may want you to love? The people who desperately need God’s love and will not find it in the people and places they are currently involved with. Have you been spending more time with the perceived “healthy” people when God has sent us to the “sick” like His Son, Jesus. Rahab is just one of many examples of God’s grace and love to the worst of sinners and truthfully, we’re no different in degrees of sin in God’s eyes. Consequences on earth may be different but we need the Gospel just as much as those who are “unlovely” around us. Let’s do everything we can to show them that love.
By: Erik Koliser