Are you Hiding Behind the Jericho Walls of a Rebel Heart?

And she bound the scarlet cord in her window.

Rahab. Her hope stretched thin like the rope the men now shimmied down. This blood-stained cord would be the only sign that remained of their oath. She knew she could trust their God, but could she trust His people?


How often have you thought through the story of Rahab? Is it just another Bible story from the child’s Sunday School curriculum, complete with cut out paper houses and a slice of red yard flung out the window? Or perhaps a cringe-worthy recollection of a harlot who stained the pages of God’s Story for you?

I sat with Rahab some months ago and read her story again, for the first time:

We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down…

Scarlet Cord

Than I saw it. I saw a second Passover.

Like the Israelites painted blood on their doorposts to escape the Angel of Death, so Rahab hung the blood red cord from her window – a sign of her only hope that the swinging swords of death might pass over her home and she might enter into new life.

After the spies withdrew to the hills, Rahab remained behind the Jericho walls of her rebel city. In these last days, she may have paced the twelve-foot width of her border-wall home. She may have stolen a few too many glimpses out her spy-worthy window, rummaging the wilderness for any sign of her deliverers. She may have even reveled in “knowing” the pulse of the people one last time. But did she know that she was about to become so much more than just another character in just another Bible story? Did she know that she was about to become the character in the only story ever worth telling – the Story of Redemption?

Yes, friends. Rahab is THE character in the only story ever worth telling. She’s you. She’s me. She’s anyone who ever believed from within the Jericho walls of a rebel heart.

Rahab

From her vantage point high atop the city wall, she saw. She saw the cloud of smoke by day. She saw the pillar of fire each night. Surveying the sunrise each morning, she faced a God who never left His people – a God who shaded His people by day and guided them through the night. A God who never forsook, never left, never disappointed. She encountered a God unlike any of her own gang of gods and goddesses. She encountered a God of unquestionable power.

She, like so many others within the city, heard the Hebrew stories: the tales of rescue from tyrannical Egypt, the saga of the Red Sea splitting wide like a lightening-struck tree trunk, the drowning of Pharaoh’s entire army. Only instead of hearing a myth, instead of leaning into a legend, Rahab realized it was all Truth. She, a harlot in a city of sin, believed in the God of the Hebrews.

It’s an almost unbelievable story – this rescue of the first Gentile believer. Before Rahab could believe, she first must have heard. And before the hearing there must have been a telling. And before the telling there must have been quite an episode brewing way out there in the wasteland, across the Spring-swollen Jordan River.  And before that, a darn good reason for hordes of people to approach Acacia Grove, the land before the Jordan…and before that…and before that…

Her story reaches back before her very eyes, into the days before her day, and the moments before her moment. Kind of like a backward Bible story. A reverse engineered chronicle of The Promise fulfilled in the Promised Land. Rahab’s scarlet stained tale is only a portion of The Greatest Story Ever told, and yet…it embodies the full awe and wonder of the complete gospel message: just how far and just how wide will God stretch to seek and save one lost soul?

Rahab2

I’m contemplating beginning here, at the end. Beginning at Rahab’s redemption and ending where it all began: with God’s promise to reverse the curse. Are you hiding behind the Jericho walls of a rebel heart? Would you take up a story pledging to tell the tale of God’s Promise fulfilled in the Promised Land? A story where the rescued turn around to rescue others? Like you?

What if it was a vibrantly illustrated read-aloud? A turning-back-the-pages-of-history book to reveal every foreshadow, every allusion, every personification of Jesus throughout the Torah? An unfolding of every Jesus moment before your moment within the wall. Would you read it?

 

I covet your input (and your prayers!). This may just be the proposal I deliver at the SheSpeaks conference, on July 22nd!

In the mean time…

Might I Pray for Us?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you’ve been there since the inception of time. You were there at the fall, and there when The Promise was made. You were in the stories of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and Moses, and Joshua, and yes, even of Rahab. You cared enough about one lost girl to raise up a generation, train them in the desert to trust you, and lead them to her rescue. And all the while, you did this just to show us how much you love US. How ready you are to go to great lengths just to save our sorry souls. Help us to see every appearance, every foreshadowing, every allusion to your great grace in Rahab’s story. And help us to continue re-telling it that the world might hear.

Amen.

Photo Credits {HERE}

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