Rahab and The Red Chord
One of my favorite stories in the bible is in the Book Of Joshua. If you haven’t read it; all of it is a treat. I have had powerful things happen to me just as a result of my meditating in each chapter for a solid week all the way up to Chapter Six when the walls fell down, but that’s not what I want to talk about right now.
This is about a woman who could believe in a God that she did not know in the midst of a crisis. Her name is Rahab and she was a prostitute.
Joshua was a praying man and a man who diligently sought God. He had served years as an understudy to Moses. Moses disobedience had kept him out of the Promised Land, but Joshua was allowed to go in and be in charge. God had to build Joshua up for his big assignment; to take down Jericho. He received the word of the Lord that told him: I will never leave you or forsake you. He told him to be strong and full of courage and you will lead them into the land that I swore to give them. He also told Joshua to be careful to obey all the law not missing it to the left or to the right.
So, you can believe that when Joshua (carefully) picked two men to go in as spies and said: “even Jericho,” that he knew what he was doing. The two men went into a strange town and met Rahab a harlot and stayed in her house. It had to be Divine that they met a woman of means who was quick witted and had the ability to own her own house separate from her family. All throughout the bible; we see traditions of families living together. Nowhere had I read of single woman that were never married who lived on their own like many single women do not. It’s not at all surprising that a harlot would have her own place. So, this was a good hide out for the two spies. Unfortunately, in a small village it’s likely that someone saw the strangers go in and word got back to the king who sent for Rahab.
Now, I believe that there is something very significant here in that God chose a harlot to be the rescuer. I believe that God wanted us not to be “hung up” on what someone did before giving their lives to Christ. I also believe He wanted us to value women more. The King sends for Rahab and says basically I know you have two men in your house, they are spies sent here to search out the country, bring them here. Rahab could have pretended to go get them and instead went and hid them and said I did have two men, but I don’t know where they went. Or, she could have hid them before she left and just replied Yes, I had two men that came, but I don’t know where they went. She then explained importantly that she saw them leave the city gates. Her being a harlot was the perfect cover. She then went and hid them with stalks of flax upon the roof of her house which was on the city wall.
Rahab, then helped the men escape; but before she left; she made a deal with them. She literally said:
We heard what the Lord did for you in Egypt, what happened to the two kings of the Amorites who the Lord utterly destroyed. She continued by saying: our hearts melted as if to say the land was in fear. However, Rahab made a decision. She explained that she had shown them kindness and wanted them to show kindness to she and her family by sparing their lives. The mean agreed. They told her to get her family and put them in her house and to get the fine scarlet thread (chord) that she had let them down by and to bind it in the window. They explained that this would save her and all of her house if she did not turn on them or give them away. Rahab kept her end of the deal and so did the men.
THE RED CHORD
A lot of people don’t understand the significance of the red chord. The red chord was a symbol of Salvation, Safety, Protection and Zeal. The Red Chord represented the Blood in a way that the New Testament makes it so clear. In the Old Testament the Israelites made sacrifices of animals blood. There was no power in that either, but it was the faith in what God asked that allowed for the atonement. It could have been a green chord, a yellow one or a black on; but it was red. No, the chord had no power; but it was the faith in the real power of God.
The Red Chord was a covering, a sign that told Joshua and his army to literally pass over this house. It was a sign that said: Hands off, in the midst of death and destruction.
I have friends who go to the fabric store and purchase red chords and pray over them and hang them for safety and protection.
Think about that.