Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rahab's Reversal

I've been reading Rabbi Russ Resnik's new book Divine Reversal in a study group at my congregation, so I'm particularly attuned to this theme of reversal in the Scriptures. Recently, Chaviva (from The Kvetching Editor) highlighted the theme of reversal in the story of Rahab in a shiur (lesson) she delivered on Shavuot:
As Phyllis Bird suggests, [Rahab's] story depends on a certain “reversal of expectations.” It is unlikely to expect a “shrewd and calculating operator” like a prostitute to save the spies and declare allegiance to G-d, but she does. The Rabbis, then, understood something profound about their choice as the ultimate righteous convert: “The harlot understands what the king of the city does not – that Israelite victory is imminent and inevitable.”
Long after Rahab, Yeshua spoke about the reversals that were happening in Israel in his day:

I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did.
As Yeshua-followers, we need to be attuned to the reversals happening around us, because there is where we find the God of Israel at work.  For an extended meditation on how the Messiah of Israel embodies this principle of divine reversal, I'd encourage you to pick up Divine Reversal.

No comments: