THE SCARLET ROPE

© 2004 by Jerry L. Croasmun

READ -- Joshua 2:1-24

"'Agreed,' she replied. 'Let it be as you say.' So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord [rope] in the window."
-- Joshua 2:21 (NIV)

I can only imagine what some of Rahab's nosy neighbors must have said when they saw a scarlet rope hanging out of her window. "Dear, have you seen Rahab's house? She has this scarlet rope hanging out her window." "Yeah, you don't say? Well you know Rahab has been known to entertain men. Maybe the rope has something to do with them visiting. After all, the other night two foreigners, I think they were Israelites, were seen using that very rope to climb out of Rahab's window." "You don't say? You aren't talking about Israeli spies, are you?" And so, goes the story and my imagination.

In the second chapter, of Joshua, we learn that Joshua sent two men to spy out the land around Jericho. The Bible does not mention the two men by name; however, we do know they visited a woman named, "Rahab." In Joshua 2:1 we read, "Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' So they went and entered the house of a prostitute [harlot] named Rahab and stayed there."

In verse 6 we learn that Rahab hid the two spies on her roof under stalks of flax. And in Joshua 2:15 we read, "So she [Rahab] let them [the two spies] down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall." Rahab's house was part of the wall, which surrounded the city of Jericho.

Rahab purposed a deal with the two spies. In Joshua 2:12 we read, "Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign." The men did as Rahab had asked and in verses 17 and 18 we learn of the sign. "The men said to her, 'This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord [rope] in the window through which you let us down and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house."

As part of the deal with the two spies, Rahab had to tie the scarlet rope or cord in her window and she had to convince her family to stay inside her house with her. Rahab did as she had been instructed and in Joshua 2:21 we read, "'Agreed,' she replied. 'Let it be as you say.' So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord [rope] in the window." The scarlet rope served as a way of escape for the two spies and it would also serve as a sign of salvation for Rahab and her family.

As a note of clarification, the rope in and of itself did nothing; however, as a result of Rahab's faith and obedience she and her family were saved. In Hebrews 11:30-31 we read, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient." And in James 2:25 we also read, "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?"

In Joshua 2:19 we read, "If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head; we will not be responsible. As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him." Likewise in Exodus 12:22 we read, "Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning." The death angel upon seeing the blood, which had been applied to the lintel and doorposts, spared those who were inside.

Likewise, Rahab had to put the scarlet rope in her window and all who were inside her home were spared death. In Joshua 6:25 we read, "But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho--and she lives among the Israelites to this day." We clearly, know that Rahab is not physically alive today; however, because of her faith and obedience she became a part of God's family. Read devotional article, "Rahab--Christ's Ancestor" to learn more.

Our sign of redemption is found only in Christ's blood on Calvary's cross. My prayer is that we, like Rahab, would obey the commands of God. And I pray that we would apply His blood, by faith, to the lentil and doorposts of our lives. May God richly bless you as you find comfort in the words of Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Amen.

SALVATION IS FOUND ONLY THROUGH
THE SCARLET BLOOD OF JESUS



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