“And they utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. And Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, ‘Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” Joshua 6:22-22, NASB
The harlot’s house. Go there and rescue her plus all she has.
A harlot? Something seems really wrong with this picture. After the Israelites destroyed virtually everything—man, woman, child, and more—in Jericho, Joshua commanded them to save the prostitute and her family. If God’s people were compelled to show mercy on anyone, shouldn’t children have received it? Surely they deserved protection and deliverance more than anyone. Yet God’s ways eternally remain higher than our ways. Unquestionably His wisdom exceeds ours, and His plans supersede anything we seek to accomplish.
So why did God pluck Rahab out of the rubble—the terror and destruction?
A red cord.
“when we come into the land, tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down … and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.” Josh. 2:18, 21
In my mind, the red cord symbolized Jesus’ blood, which He’d one day shed in our place—mine, yours … and Rahab’s. Because she followed the spies’ instruction and simply tied a scarlet thread in her window, she was saved. Her act pictures the faith we initially place in Jesus Christ for salvation. Simple, yet profoundly powerful.
So why did God save Rahab? She didn’t live an exemplary life or model morality to those who crossed her path. Sadly she sold her body, giving away the most intimate of expressions for money. But what shouts beauty throughout the ages is what God did with her life. He saved her, changed her, and honored her by positioning her in Jesus’ bloodline. Amazing. Grace!
Like Rahab, we’re guilty of grievous sins that separate us from a holy God. And so often, we see ourselves plus people around us based on these external evidences of inward depravity. We judge and categorize without envisioning God’s mighty hand at work. We forget about the red cord—Jesus’ blood—through which we’re cleansed, forgiven, restored.
CHRIST saves and changes us.
Are you discouraged—maybe saddened by a lack of spiritual growth? Are you downcast about someone’s else’s wrong choices and hopeless they’ll ever walk in God’s ways?
Remember Rahab. When God chooses to work in a person’s heart, He does it well. Be encouraged, my friend. God will fulfill His perfect plan in your heart and mine.