“This oath … will not be binding on us unless … you have tied this scarlet cord in the window.”
After wandering through the wilderness for many years, the children of Israel are about to enter into the land that God has promised them. Moses has died, and Joshua, their new leader, receives instructions from the Lord on how to proceed. He is also given reassurance that the Lord will be with them (see Joshua 1:9).
So Joshua sends two spies to look over the land, beginning with the city of Jericho. They enter the house of Rahab, who has faith in God and helps them. In return, she is promised safety—if she hangs a scarlet cord in the window of her home. As God’s judgment comes on the city of Jericho, with Joshua and his army marching around the city for seven days, the walls of the city fall. But Rahab’s house—with the scarlet cord in the window—remains standing (see Joshua 6:20-23).
Rahab aligned herself with Israel and their covenant God although she was physically and geographically in Jericho. Her alignment with God’s unshakable kingdom resulted in the safety of her family. The scarlet cord became a sign and symbol of her safety.
For us, the finished work of Jesus on the cross is like the scarlet cord. All that is broken and sinful will be destroyed, but by faith in Christ we are under his protection and receive his grace.
Lord Jesus, while much is crumbling around us, thank you for your unshakable kingdom. We trust in you and your finished work on the cross. Amen.
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