[Joshua Chapter Two] Rahab and the Scarlet Cord. In this chapter Joshua sends spies into Jericho and they encounter a harlot named Rahab. This woman didn’t have much going for her but she did have faith in God. In obedience to the spies she put out a scarlet cord on her window that the angels saw and spared her house in the fall of the walls where her home was built. Prophetic acts are very powerful though we seem foolish when we perform them. What prophetic act is God calling upon you to do that will provoke your breakthrough and salvation?
[Jos 2:1-24 KJV] 1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. 2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. 3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they [were]: 5 And it came to pass [about the time] of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. 6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. 7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.
Joshua has yet to cross over Jordan and he sends two men to spy out Jericho. This was a different spying out than happened forty years before. You might wonder if the people questioned Joshua after all the spies went out and brought an evil report that resulted in decades of suffering and here Joshua is doing it all over again. There is a time to look ahead. They were in Shittim which means “a black thorny place”. In the parable of the sower Jesus said the thorns were the cares of life. When you are in a thorny place in life do what Joshua did – plan your next conquest.
When the two men went to Jericho they encountered Rahab whose name means “to be wide or broad”. In 2 Cor. 6:11 Paul speaks about his heart being enlarged toward the Corinthians. The entire city of Jericho was in fear of the approaching armies of Israel but Rahab saw something else that caused her heart to be opened. Prov. 16:7 says when a man’s ways please the Lord God will make even his enemies to be at peace with that man. Rahab was so moved that she harbored the spies and as a result eventually became a part of the royal bloodline and ancient ancestor of Jesus Himself.
8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; 9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we had heard [these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: 13 And [that] ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
Rahab was believing for salvation not only for herself but for her entire household. What does the bible say about household salvation? Paul told the Philippian jailer:
[Act 16:31 KJV] 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
The angels told Cornelius to call Peter and made this promise:
[Act 11:14 KJV] 14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
The idea of “household salvation” stirs debate but the promise of the scripture is sure that if you listen to God and do what He says the end result will be salvation to all your house and by implication Rahab includes her extended family as well.
14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. 15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house [was] upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. 16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. 17 And the men said unto her, We [will be] blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. 18 Behold, [when] we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee. 19 And it shall be, [that] whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood [shall be] upon his head, and we [will be] guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood [shall be] on our head, if [any] hand be upon him. 20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. 21 And she said, According unto your words, so [be] it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
The scarlet rope speaks of us of the blood of Christ shed to save the sinner. Just as the scarlet line hung from the window thus signifying salvation for her household even so Jesus (Rahab’s descendant) hung on Calvary battered beyond recognition signifying salvation for the world. It also speaks of the blood of the Passover. When the death angel passed over the land of Egypt he did not cross the bloodline on the doorposts of the Israelites. Likewise when Jericho was destroyed Rahab and her household was spared. At that moment her past as a harlot didn’t dictate what her future would be in fact quite the opposite because ultimately she was an ancestor to Jesus Himself.
Now if you look forward in the story there is a deeper insight. We know that in a short time God supernaturally causes the walls of Jericho to fall down. Rahab lived in a home on the walls of the city. The scarlet thread might have been a marker to Israelite soldiers not to kill anyone in that particular house but what about the earthquake that brought down the very walls that Rahab lived in? This tells us a few things:
1.) Whatever caused the walls to tumble it wasn’t some natural process of unusual timing. Angels were involved because we know that the portion of wall where Rahab’s house was is left intact and untouched. The angels saw the thread and spared that portion of the wall. Can you imagine angels so powerful as to push down such massive fortifications?
2.) Secondly look at the power that man had over what angels would do and not do. It wasn’t God who marked the house of Rahab. It was Rahab herself. Some would call this a symbolic or prophetic act. In Elisha’s day when he was dying he instructed the king to fire arrows out of a window as a prophetic act to assure victory over the king’s enemies. The king was reluctant because it seemed foolish and because he did so half hearted Elisha predicted that the king would not prevail. Prophetic acts are important. Things like anointing with oil, prayer cloths, etc., may seem foolish but they not only influence our faith they direct angels. I want to challenge you regarding your lose loved ones. Get a red cord and tie to a windowsill in your home. Don’t explain it to anyone unless they ask. Then see what God does. God honors prophetic acts. Angels act in concert with what prophetic acts call for. This is a potent act of faith that will produce in your life.
22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought [them] throughout all the way, but found [them] not. 23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all [things] that befell them: 24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.
When the evil spies in Moses’ day returned they said “we were grasshoppers in our sight to the enemies there …” This time the perspective was different. They weren’t looking at the challenge from a natural perspective but from the eyes of God. They saw what God saw. This is why it is important not to sit passively where your faith is concerned. If you are believing for something and it is possible to do so go into the territory of your challenge and see it from God’s point of view. If that means you go look at a new home that only God can give you do that. Or test drive a new car that only God can give you then do that. Or buy a wedding dress and plan a wedding while you are still waiting on a spouse – do that. When the prophet told the king that a drought was ending the king was commanded to fill the valley with ditches which seemed foolish and difficult in the hard dry land – but the prophetic act was a precursor to an abundance of rain. Even so your prophetic act when you get past the sense that it feels foolish (it is do it anyway) that God will act in accordance with your faith.