There’s not many men or women who will openly confess to having paid for sex. Being a “punter” is something that men will rarely boast about, but the fact is many have used the services of a prostitute. If you have then you’ll appreciate some of the bible stories better than others and recognise that not much changes in the sexual transaction.
The reality is that, the transaction is about payment for a sexual service. There are the exceptions when some punters what something outside of the physical encounter but in the majority of cases it’s usually the sexual acts that are paid for.
Let’s consider the usual transaction which is focussed on payment and sex. There is a degree of anonymity on both sides with the seller using a false name and buyer usually wanting his purchase to remain confidential.
In the book of Genesis 38 we find Tamar taking the role of a prostitute – verse 15-16 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. Not realizing that she was his daughter-in-law, he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.” “And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.
Tamar covered her face and proceeded to act as a prostitute with her father in law. Judah noticed nothing unusual as anonymity was expected.
Probably the most famous prostitute in the Bible is Rahab who finds herself remembered in the list of faithful in Hebrews 11:31.
The story of her faithful act is recorded in the book of Joshua Chapter 2
Joshua has sent spies to check out Jericho and they went and stayed the house of Rahab the prostitute. It’s unlikely they went there for sexual services but had been led there by the Lord.
Why would these men, now under the Mosaic law enter the house of a prostitute? Let’s see what happens when the King of Jericho goes to her home to take the spies captive.
Joshua 2:2-6 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)
In any other house the spies would have been given up and only in Rahab’s home would the claim
“Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. have been believed.
The King knew that her business involved sex, money and anonymity. Her claim would have been ridiculous for any other citizen of Jericho to have made so for the spies it was “thank Yahweh for the house of the prostitute”
Although our past sins can be a reminder of a lost past they may have the benefit of taking us into a deeper understanding of His word. Our life experiences are not that far away from the men and women of the bible.