The Red Cord
“. . . and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” - (Joshua 2:13)
An indicator of the chesed covering that the Israelites granted to Rahab and her family was that she was to tie a solitary red cord and hang it from her window. This red cord (perhaps symbolizing the red blood over the doorposts of the Israelites while in slavery in Egypt) would serve as the protector of anyone and everyone inside of her home. The Israelites knew that they were not to harm anyone in the home with the red cord in the window.
An interesting point of Rahab’s story, though, has to do with the verse we looked at yesterday, which told us that Rahab’s home was on the city wall (Joshua 2:15). There were two ways to be harmed the day the wall fell in Jericho. One way is that the soldiers during battle were killing the citizens of Jericho. Because of the red cord, the soldiers knew not to harm those in Rahab’s home. But the other way was the collapse of the wall itself.
This is the same wall that we read, “ . . . the wall fell down flat” (Joshua 6:20). Except for one spot, apparently, because Rahab’s house was still intact due to God’s covenantal chesed covering.
Some say that Rahab’s faith was in hiding the spies. Yet her greater faith may have been in staying inside as the walls around her crumbled. Surely her family must have been tempted to run outside as the tremors began shaking, and ultimately collapsing, the wall in which they lived. But the terms of the covenant in which they could find their safety included staying inside their home. So by remaining inside, Rahab and her family members were covered even in the midst of the chaos crumbling all around them.
Reflection: When life crumbles around you, what remains firm? What does Scripture tell us about where our security lies? Memorize one or more of the following verses about God’s faithfulness: Deuteronomy 7:9; 32:4; Psalm 36:5; 91:4; 100:5; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24.