“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” – Joshua 1:6 –

Joshua is anointed by God as the new leader of His chosen people after the death of Moses. Under Joshua’s brave command, the Israelites embark on God’s plan for them to conquer the Promised Land. They set their sights on the walled town of Jericho just east of the Jordan River. Joshua sends out two spies to secretly scope out the town.

God’s hand is on these two men in their covert operation, for He leads them to the home of Rahab to find safe shelter. Although a prostitute living on the edge of society, God knows Rahab’s heart and her courage… her heart of faith in Him and her courage to stand steadfast for His cause.

The king of Jericho hears that enemy spies have infiltrated his city. Rahab hides the spies on the roof of her home under stalks of flax. When the king’s men inquire of her as to their location, she tells them that the spies left her home at dusk, just before the city gates closed. She suggests the searchers quickly pursue them. As the king’s men set off on their search, Rahab updates the spies…

“I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us… 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.” – Joshua 2:9, 11

Rahab explains that all the town is living in fear because of the Israelites. For the people have heard of God’s miraculous intervention on behalf of His chosen ones… parting the Red Sea to escape their enemies… making a way through the flooded Jordan River to enter the Promised Land… and defeating the Amorite kings, Og and Sihon to conquer their lands.

Rahab believes in the powerful God of the Israelites. She praises Him for being the one true God. She believes that Jericho and the surrounding lands belong to His chosen people. This courageous woman is willing to risk her life for God and play a key role in bringing to pass His divine purpose and plan.

“Our lives for your lives!… If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.” – Joshua 2:14

Rahab boldly promises to help the spies on their God-given quest. She vows to keep their whereabouts a secret and facilitate their escape to safety. Her only desire is that they treat her and her family with kindness, sparing their lives when the Israelites conquer Jericho. For she trusts God to command victory for His people.

The spies agree to Rahab’s appeal and give her a scarlet cord. She is to tie the cord in her window on the city wall as proof that she has kept her promise… her promise to be on the side of the God of Israel. Rahab offers the spies this advice before they escape by rope from her window…

“’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’… And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.” – Joshua 2:16, 21

Rahab’s role proves to be integral to the success of God’s plan. The spies follow Rahab’s advice and safely return to the Israelite camp. The men reassure Joshua that God has given them the land to be conquered, for the people there are melting in fear.

God miraculously delivers Jericho into the hands of the Israelites. Rahab’s scarlet cord can be seen hanging from her window. Joshua remembers her and seeks to honor her promise to the spies. When everyone in the town is destroyed as God commanded, Joshua gives orders to spare Rahab and her family.

“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham… Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David…” – Matthew 1:1, 5-6

Rahab’s faith in the all-powerful God of the Israelites is rewarded. Her legacy endures in the ancestral line of King David… and the King of Kings, Jesus the Messiah. She is listed among the biblical greats in the Book of Hebrews’ Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:31).

James, the brother of Jesus, tells of Rahab’s righteousness as she lived out her faith (James 2:25). The scarlet cord is considered symbolic of the saving blood of Christ. Rahab is saved through faith. All believers are saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

God is looking for people with faith like Rahab. People who will live out their lives as a testimony for Him. People who will stand strong for His mission and His cause in the world.

Perhaps you feel that God cannot use you in His divine plan. You may believe your past hinders you… your fears are holding you back… your faith is too small. Yet He is looking for anyone who is open, willing and available to Him.

Our God is a great rewarder of faith. Are you willing to tie a scarlet cord in your life for all to see that you follow the living God? Will you make your life a clear, undisguised testimony for Him? Will you boldly step out in faith to play an integral role in His sovereign plan and purpose?