Rahab’s Scarlet Rescue is no Less Than Brilliant
I love the word scarlet because it means ‘a brilliant red colour.’ Rahab’s scarlet rescue is no less than brilliant. In my last post, Rahab hides the two spies in flax drying on her roof. When the king sends a message to her asking where the spies are, his men not only believe her without question, do as Rahab tells them, but also leave to hunt for the spies outside the city gates. Unlike our society today, Rahab is a VIP, BECAUSE she is a prostitute. Note her dwelling place: Rahab’s house is built against the town wall with the roof almost level with the ramparts, and with a stairway leading up to a flat roof that appears to be a continuation of the wall. She lives on the outside wall and owns an Inn, again prime Real Estate.
Rahab has Significant Status in her Culture
The flax that she spreads on her roof and the scarlet cord she uses later as a sign indicates that Rahab manufactures linen and also dyes it.I cannot stress enough the importance of Rahab’s status in her own land and in her own culture. She is a successful, well-to-do member of her society. Yet, the choices she makes and the things that she says to the spies she has hidden under the flax on her roof, tell us what is really in her heart.
Joshua 2 Tells Us What is Really in Rahab’s Heart
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 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 Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
Rahab Negotiates with the Spies
12 “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 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”
Follow the ONE True God
Have you ever had to make a hard decision based on your faith dear one? Have you had to leave your homeland, your way of life, your livelihood to follow the ONE TRUE GOD? Maybe you are thinking about just this thing. Rahab, in spite of her idol-filled culture with which she is intimately involved as a temple prostitute sees that the God of the Israelites is God in heaven above and on earth below. She knows the outcome of her people and makes a ‘brilliant’ negotiation with the spies. She not only asks for her own life to be spared, but also for the lives of her family members. It is Rahab’s Scarlet rescue plus. So how do the spies respond?
14 “Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.”15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 16 She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.”
The Spies Make an Agreement with Rahab
17 Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord 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. 19 If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them. 20 But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”21 “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.”
Rahab’s Scarlet Cord of Rescue
The fact that Rahab lets the spies down with a scarlet cord is to me, very significant. She is the second woman listed in Jesus genealogy. The first is Tamar, the widow, whose black widow weeds tell us of our sinful state. Rahab’s scarlet cord, which will, as you will read in my next blog, rescue her and her family from certain death, represents Jesus shed blood on the cross for us. In our sinful state, we cannot rescue ourselves. Jesus, the perfect son of God, gave His life for us to ‘rescue’ us from our sin and give us eternal life. Have you made that decision yet to follow Him dear one? Will you be like Rahab in Rahab’s Scarlet Rescue? Jesus, your saviour is waiting for you.