When I woke up one recent Sunday morning, the first thought on my mind was, Do I have a cord in my window?
I have to admit it was an unusual thought, but it wasn’t long before God showed up in it. I was quickly reminded of the Bible story about a cord in the window, and it happens to be one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament. Well, it’s one of my favorites in the entire Bible.
Moses had led the people out of slavery in Egypt, and as it came time for them to enter the Promised Land, he passed away. Joshua took over leadership of the people, and he would be responsible for taking up where Moses had left off. This meant leading the people in war, because the current idol-worshipping inhabitants of the Promised Land would not just pack up and leave. (The Israelites had been gone from the land for over 400 years, so a lot of people had a lot of time to settle in the land that God had originally promised to Abraham and his descendants.)
Joshua’s first order of business was to send two spies into the land. Word made its way to the king of Jericho that spies had come in, so he sent a message to the place he had heard the spies were staying, the home of Rahab. “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land” (Joshua 2:3b).
Rahab had hidden the spies, but she told the king’s messengers a different story. She told them the spies had left because the city’s gates were to be closed, and she didn’t know which direction they went. But, if they hurried, they might catch them!
Her reason? She explained it to the spies when the messengers had gone. “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. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” (Joshua 2:10-11).
The reputation of the Israelites--and God--had preceded the spies, and Rahab was afraid. And this is where the cord in the window comes in.
“Now then,” Rahab requested of the spies, “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 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” (Joshua 2:12-13). The spies swore “Our lives for your lives!” (Joshua 2:14a), and promised her safety for her silence, but only if she would make sure to hang a scarlet cord in her window. If she did so, she and everyone inside the walls of her home would remain untouched when it came time for the Israelites to overtake Jericho.
It happened as the spies promised it would. Rahab and her family were brought safely out of the siege of Jericho, “—and she lives among the Israelites to this day” (Joshua 6:25c). She also managed to find herself mentioned in the New Testament in the genealogy of Jesus, having been the mother of Boaz, great-grandmother of Jesse, and great-great-grandmother of none other than King David. (See Matthew 1:5-6.)
That was an important scarlet cord.
Now back to the thought of a cord in my window that I had when I first woke up that Sunday morning.
I have often thought about Rahab and what she went through when the Israelites came through the fallen walls of Jericho. And it’s not so different from what I believe many Christians are facing today.
Moral decay is increasing at a truly alarming speed. Persecution is everywhere. Sadness is no longer picky as “happy” has gotten more difficult to find.
It’s no wonder I thought about the cord in my own window—that cord being a perfect representation of my relationship with Jesus—and how it relates to the scarlet cord in Rahab’s window all those years ago.
Is there a cord in my window? Yes, there is. And I am grateful for the reminder that I have a job to do, an eternally important job to do, living a life that makes Jesus known. I am also grateful for the reminder that I am safe, even in the midst of uncertainty.
Is there a cord in your window?
©2015 Wendi Miller
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