Rahab was a Bible woman entrepreneur who lived in the city of Jericho. She was a Cannanite who also operated an inn where visitors to the city (probably mostly men) would stay. She worked with flax, a type of fiber that was used for ropes and cloth. This woman of the Bible would have been in a non-traditional business for women during those days. You can find Rahab mentioned in several areas of the Bible but her main story is found in Joshua 2:1-22 and Matthew 1:5. Rahab was a quick thinking business woman who kept her ears open and communicated with her customers. This is how she learned vital information that eventually allowed her to save the life of two Israelite spies, which resulted in saving her own life and the life of her family when her homeland was captured.
Rahab’s story is a powerful one of a Bible business woman who experienced the grace of God in a dangerous situation because of her faith and wise actions. Even though she had been a prostitute, she had faith in God. As a result, she became the mother of Boaz, the Kinsman Redeemer, and eventually the mother-in-law of Ruth. Rahab was the great, great, great grandmother of King David and ancestor of Jesus Christ. She has much to share with the modern woman of God in business. Here are seven tips from the Bible woman, Rahab for today’s Christian business woman.
1. Succeed in spite of your past. Rahab was a woman who was given a negative label of prostitute in the Bible, probably for her lifestyle or other reasons that are not described. Still, she had the courage to successfully operate a non-traditional business and to face a dangerous situation by faith in God. Many women have experienced difficult situations in life. Some have been labeled with a negative reputation or called names that may or may not be deserved. Often, it could mean pulling back from society to avoid being hurt or ridiculed. But God is bigger than a title or a regretful past. If you have a calling on your life, don’t let a shaky past keep you from a successful future.
2. Learn to communicate with others. Rahab kept her ears and eyes open while operating her business. When customers came in she watched them; when they spoke she listened as much as needed. That is how she saved her life and the life of her family members. Business women must know how to watch and listen while doing business. Pay attention to others so you understand their professional needs and can gain necessary information for your business.
3. Gain negotiation skills. Rahab knew how to negotiate with tough soldiers and with spies in a life and death situation. Having operated a non-traditional business in her city, she had gained skills in making deals with all types of people. Business might require engaging in tough talks with competitors or adversaries. Practice the skills of making right deals so you will be ready to use them when necessary.
5. Be flexible and ready to change. Rahab could have tried to ignore the information she learned about the upcoming attack on her city or refused to believe that the army of the true God would succeed. Instead she quickly decided to change her comfortable life to respond to what was going to happen. A business woman of God should be flexible. She should be willing to make changes in her life and business according to the leading of God even when it first seems difficult to do.
6. Remember your priorities when things change. Rahab could have saved herself and never looked back. But she had her priorities in order; she remembered her family and saved all of them too. Very difficult circumstances can create a lot of stress. It is possible to forget your priorities during these times if you are not clear on your values. What would you do in the event of a highly stressful situation? A smart business woman thinks through various ways she can avoid being caught off-guard by unexpected events that can happen in business.
7. Use resources you have. Rahab used plants she had on her rooftop do what she promised in protecting the Israelite spies from capture by soldiers. What do you have around your location that might seem useless or without multiple uses? Take a new look at raw materials to see possible creative uses for them or consider creative marketing strategies to get business moving. You might have access to more inventory, ideas and potential than you first imagined to conduct your business in new ways.
Rahab is a woman of the Bible who went from living a life of sin to become one of the matriarchs of the Christian faith. She used strong business skills in a time of trouble and offers lessons for the modern business woman on how to think quickly when a bad situation seems almost impossible to overcome.