Scarlet Cord Memorial of Rahab

The book of Joshua is a Mighty Book of Faith in God and His ability. An insignificant people face insurmountable obstacles and enemies and all they have is a willingness to believe and obey an unseen God! That is the very essence of faith, for faith is at its strongest when we are at our weakest. The Power of God is never wasted on trifling matters. He delights in answering the call of people facing impossible situations.

Joshua Sends Spies to JerichoIn Chapter 2 we find Joshua sending a couple of young men to spy out the city of Jericho. I ask, why, Joshua? Remember the last time spies were sent out? Didn’t God tell you to be Strong and of Good Courage, for you would overtake the land? This is the mystery of a life aligned with the Holy Spirit’s purpose. When you align yourself with the Holy Spirit, He will lead you do things which make no sense to a rational thinking man.

Surely you have made decisions that at the time seemed stupid or even irrational, yet God used that decision and the events that resulted to dramatically impact your life and the lives of those around you. I remember one particularly irrational decision I made:

After my brothers had voted me out of Tompkins Industries in 1988, I had gone to work for Kenneth R Johnson Co. It was a very difficult 2 years financially because I had taken a 40% cut in pay and with no savings tried to keep my wife and six children fed and clothed. In the meantime I built up the hydraulic adapter business for KR Johnson from $20,000 a year to over 1.5 million dollars a year in little over 18 months. The owner was an old oil man with a bank and real estate holdings. This was kind of a sideline for him. He offered to sell the company I had built up for him for no money down but with a note of $1,000,000. But there were a lot of strings attached. At first I was chomping at the bit because it would mean a lot of good things for my young family. I could realize the rewards of my labors. But it also meant that I would really be butting heads with my two brothers. It also meant that the family would not be restored. We were all set to close the next day and I just had a feeling like none I had ever had before. I can’t explain it, but it was very gut wrenching. I am one to honor my word, but I told Lydia that I just could not go through with it. So I called John and told him I was not going through with the purchase and was quitting my job.

Boy you should have heard the fur fly. I experienced more grief from that decision and added to the grief caused by my brothers I should have taken my life. Before I had a little debt and a little income. Now I had a lot of debt and no income.  Plus a teenage driver. God used that moving of His Spirit to affect my family’s inheritance. It worked to the saving of my family, because that combined with my grandmother’s death got my brothers back together. It brought my parents back into my children’s lives.

In God’s Inheritance that He wants us to claim, our FAMILY is always in view. So many families are falling apart because of putting fleshly pride and possessions ahead of the family. Yet God wants our families, all of them. I could have made the business work, but God would have brought leanness to my soul because my family would have been destroyed.

In sending the two spies to Jericho, God saved an entire family! Are you working to toward the salvation of your family? Have you let selfish ambition, pride, possessions get in the way of your love for your family, your concern for their souls, for God’s work in their life? You are losing your inheritance. Gaining inheritance will always involve faith to follow God’s leadership. He will never, never lead you to put money, possessions, reputation, fleshly rights before your parents, your siblings, your wife, your children, your extended family. God has the inheritance of a Godly heritage in view and claiming that inheritance will always involve death to self and following God by faith. Faith in Him doing the impossible.

We Now Meet A Young Woman Named Rahab.

Meet Rahab the ProstituteJoshua 2:1-7 (NKJV) Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.” So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.” Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Rahab is not your typical gal. She is a harlot, a prostitute. There is no disguising what Rahab did. Both the language here and in the New Testament indicates she was a whore. Now you can speculate why these young men went into her place, but I think the language and Rahab’s statements indicate it was the easiest place to hide without being too conspicuous. Obviously these men looked like out of towners to be so easily discovered. So they sought sleep in a place that normally would not look too suspicious. They were not there very long before the King’s soldiers came knocking, looking for them. Obviously their lives were in danger.

This Prostitute, Rahab, Lied.

Rahab LiedNow I’m not condoning lying. God says lying lips are an abomination to Him. In her defense, she knew not God’s Laws, and was merely doing what she thought was best to spare the lives of the two young men. Does God excuse small sin to prevent a greater sin? I don’t believe so, as sin is sin. But the greatest evil that God hates is when we go our own way. Rahab was not going her own way when she lied. Something was happening in her heart, and that led her to protect the lives of the two young God-Followers.

We See Two God Events Taking Place In Her Heart.

We hear a phrase quite often nowadays. It’s a God Thing. I just used a God Event. I could have said God Thing and you all probably would have said, sure I understand. A God thing-that’s when something happens that only God could have done or manipulated. Something happens in your life causing you to do this or take this job or etc and you look back and say “That was a God Thing”. I just want to offer you a caution. God is at work every day of our life. He doesn’t’ just do God Things now and then. In fact, He wants us to every day say, wow God, thanks, wow God, you are so awesome. The flat tire, the sunset, the storm, the person who smiled at us, the person who cut us off, all of it is a God Thing!

Paul prayed that we would know the Love of Jesus Christ that surpasses our knowledge, that we might be filled with the fullness of God! If you are filled with the fullness of God everything is a God Thing! This is what the Hebrews were bringing into Canaan. They were bringing the Fullness of God into a God Empty Land. And Whenever GOD EMPTY People Encounter GOD FILLED people, God wants to see happen what happened in the life of RAHAB.

1. Rahab FEARED the GOD of the Hebrews.

Rahab Feared God of the HebrewsJoshua 2:8-11 (NKJV) Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

In an age before CNN, the news still traveled fairly quickly and accurately. The people of Jericho had heard about the Jewish Nation, how they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. They had heard about the destruction of Pharaoh’s Army. They had heard about the destruction of two mighty Kings, Sihon and Og. They heard how they had killed everyone, and left no survivors, not even children.

  • Deuteronomy 2:24-25 (NKJV) “‘Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.’
  • Deuteronomy 2:31-34 (NKJV) And the Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.’ Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining.
  • Deuteronomy 11:25 (NKJV) No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.

Listen to her fears:

  • We are afraid because of you.
  • All the inhabitants are faint-hearted.
  • Our hearts melted;
  • Their courage vanished.

She concluded in her heart that the Lord God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. To Rahab, He who is invisible suddenly became visible because of the presence of the Jews.

Fear Should Open Our Eyes to See God!

Fear Opens the Eyes to See GodMen do different things in response to fear. Some run away, some give up and commit suicide, some relish the fear and channel it into a fight. Rahab allowed the fear of her heart to open her eyes to see God! FEAR SHOULD OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE GOD! When Sennacherib threatened to invade Judah and King Hezekiah with his considerably larger army, Hezekiah allowed his fears to open his eyes to the power of God. Listen to his prayer in 2 Kings 19:14:

2 Kings 19:14-19 (NKJV) And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands–wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”

What fears do you face? What foes are at your doorstep? If you trust in Jesus as your Savior, allow them to open your eyes to almighty God. Allow your fears to drive you to trust in God and God alone. Perfect love casts out fear. Rahab is about to meet perfect love – the love represented by the scarlet cord.

2. Rahab’s FEAR led her to FAITH in the God of the Hebrews.

Joshua 2:12-21 (NKJV) [Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”] Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.” So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.” Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

Rahab had Faith in GodShe knew that God would cause the Hebrews to prevail against the mighty city Jericho. Her fear had led her to see the Invisible and she knew He would prevail. She boldly told the young men to promise to save her and her family. She had faith that they could save her family. She had faith that God was powerful enough to protect her! This coming from a prostitute, one whom the world rejected, used and abused, yet she believed there was a God who could love her and her family.

Rahab Fell into the Hebrews 11:6 Principal:

TO PLEASE GOD, WE MUST BELIEVE TWO THINGS: FIRST, THAT HE IS & SECOND, THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM!

Hebrews 11_6 Without FaithHere was a woman with a bad reputation, with no important status in the world, and all of a sudden the future of Israel is bound up in her faith. With God, there are no special privileges because of who you are, or what you do. We all stand before God with the common ground of faith. There is a little child over there with more faith in God than a wizened old preacher. There is a young teenager with more faith than a dying saint. God does not call good people to follow Him. God does not call perfect people to Him. He calls flawed people, but the one thing we must have to come to God is FAITH! This lowly prostitute became great in the eyes of God because of her faith in Him. That is why she is listed in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV) By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Her fear of Almighty God and her faith in His power to save her led her to choose to protect these two young men rather than give them up to the authorities.

This is why Peter and John told the authorities in Jerusalem: Acts 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. Rahab chose to fear God rather than man, and so she protected the two Jewish men. Who do you fear? We have many, many fears in this world. Yet our fears should lead us to faith in the Power of God to KEEP us, and to Work His Perfect Will in our lives.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Archeologists have discovered that Jericho at this time was probably at the peak of their prosperity and safety. The walls were the most fortified in Canaan. Water was plentiful from underground springs. Crops were abundant. There was no human way this city could fall and be destroyed. Yet this woman was afraid of the power of God, and that fear led her heart to choose to believe in God rather than the power of her civil government.  Who is your faith in? What is your faith in?

When Fear Produces Faith It Always Encounters the Grace of God

3. Rahab Found the Grace of God

Rahab Found Grace of GodJoshua 6:25 (NKJV) And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Fear of the Lord that leads to Faith in His Provision ALWAYS brings one into the Marvelous GRACE of God! Look at what the Grace of God brought into this prostitute’s life:

  • She Found Freedom
  • She Found A New Family (Joshua 6:25; Matt 1:5; Ruth 4:21)
    • She Went From Sinner to Saint
    • She Went From Being the Cursed Of God to Being a Child of God
    • She Went From The Dying In A War To Participating In A Wedding. (Revelation 19:7-9)
  • She Found A New Fame. (Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31)
    • She Went From The House Of Shame To The Bible Hall Of Fame.
    • That Scarlet Cord was a Memorial for the Hebrews to See. To Save.
    • The Scarlet Memorial Begins at the Cross and Runs Past Present & Future

No one lies outside the possibilities of God’s grace!

scarlet cordWhy A Scarlet Cord? Was it something peculiar to her profession? It was obviously something she had on hand. It became the salvation of the two young men, and it became the salvation of Rahab and her entire family. The Scarlet Cord represented the sins of her former life. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool. The Blood of Jesus cleanses the vilest sinner and makes them clean, set apart, and usable for Holy God’s purposes.

Look at What the Grace of God Accomplished

Rahab met a nice Jewish man named Salmon who loved her and accepted her completely, just the way God accepts and loves all those who come to Him through His Son. God blessed her with children. In fact, her oldest boy was Boaz, who gave such grace to Ruth. She was the Great grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David. The Grace of God in Rahab’s life extends to King David, all the way to the birth of Jesus Christ, and all the way to my New Birth! What a testimony of right response to fear!

Matthew 1:5-6 (NKJV) Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

  • Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.,

What a heritage because one woman chose to let her fear draw her into the matchless grace of God. That Wonderful grace found root in the heart of her son Boaz, who loved a young poor, widow woman who also feared God.

The Scarlet Memorial is a Memorial to God’s Grace

Scarlet Cord is a MemorialGod’s Holy Spirit was working in the people of Jericho. He was giving them an opportunity to turn to Him. Of the several thousand inhabitants, only one woman along with her family saw a ‘GOD THING’. She is the only one who opened her heart to seek after this Almighty God. The picture of God’s Grace is such that it is able to bring beauty into the ugliest life. Those lives that the world considers most decrepit, most destroyed, most likely to be cast aside are the lives that God can make most valuable, most beautiful. This is not to minimize sin. Yet when we learn of something someone once was, we recoil, we say no way, but there is no sin that the Grace of God cannot conquer. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. God was bringing His people into their inheritance, a place of rest. Too many Christians are running around all worried, frustrated, angry, upset, acting as if there is no Almighty God who is working in their lives. Rahab, a sinner in the world, found rest in God because she trusted in the Scarlet Cord.

You say you trust in the Scarlet Memorial of Jesus death on the cross, yet you run around as if there was no resurrection, there was no power of God to conquer sin and Satan and this world. Rahab could say I know this God. He is all Powerful. He will keep me safe. He will save me! No matter the quaking of the walls, no matter the screams of those around me, no matter the fainting hearts of mighty men, I will rest in the power of Jehovah God!

Do You Have a Scarlet Memorial in Your Life?

Do You Have Scarlet Cord MemorialThe Lord is after getting us inwardly resting in HIM. Unrest, anxiety, is ever the ground of defeat. Uncertainty about the Lord brings weakness and defeat; the Lord sets great value on BELIEVING GOD – faith in GOD. In the list of the heroes of faith in Heb. 11, the Holy Spirit records Rahab the harlot, and links her with Abraham in James; she believed God and leapt out of ungodliness into righteousness, because her fear led her to believe God and she put her faith into action. Rahab was the key to Jericho and Jericho is the key to the land. That is the kind of key He uses. He uses the Key of Restful Faith!

Let us Remember the Blood of JesusThe Scarlet Thread runs through the Bible. It is a Memorial to our Savior and His precious blood. How are you responding to the pressures of this life? Is there a Memorial in your life, a Scarlet Cord of the Saviors Blood?

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Comments
  1. This is beautiful. This story was inspiration for friends website…
    http://thescarletrope.wordpress.com

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