Rahab and the Philippian jailer — a message for unsaved family members
Rahab provided protection for the Israeli spies when they spied out her city of Jericho. In return, she and her household, who gathered in her home on the wall, were not slain when the city was attacked.
In the New Testament, the Philippian jailer, who was in charge of guarding Paul and Silas when they were imprisoned, was promised: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” (Acts 16:31 NLT).
The offer of salvation is available to you and all your household. If they accept the offer, they will be delivered. We aren’t told how Rahab convinced her family members to huddle in her dwelling on the wall, or even how many were squeezed into her room but we are told that she and her family who remained close to her whilst Jericho was being attacked were spared. We aren’t told how the jailer convinced his family members about Jesus but we are told that he and his household who chose to remain close to him were saved.
Interestingly, both Rahab and the Philippian jailer were from nationalities that were hated by the Jews – the Canaanites and the Romans. Rahab was a disregarded harlot whereas the jailer, who was probably a retired soldier, was a despised Roman. Both had meaningless lives before God’s redemptive power entered their lives, their faith was stirred and they were transformed by the grace of God.
Rahab went on to be a part of building the lineage of Jesus whereas the Philippian jailer and his household went on to initiate the building of the church in Philippi.
I believe that for your sake your family is placed in an unusual position before God and therefore they are offered opportunity after opportunity to choose salvation in Jesus. At the end of the day, however, each person is solely responsible for making a decision to follow Jesus. No one can make this decision for anyone else, no matter what their relationship is with that person.
We can be reassured and comforted further, that just like Rahab and the jailer were in detested races, in reviled occupations and were not actively seeking God, God found them. Our family members, who are not actively seeking God, can likewise be found of God. “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me” (Isa. 65:1 NIV).