Scarlet Thread

Joshua 2: 1-21

Based on the dialogue between the two spies sent to check out Jericho and Rahab, the prostitute. The spies are reported to the King of Jericho so they fear for their lives. They go to Rahab who hides them and lies to the king in order to protect them. Rahab then turns to the Spies and begs for her own life. She confesses her faith in the God of the Israelites, and admits that she believes Jericho’s fate is sealed. She asks the spies to spare her and her family when they attack and destroy the city. The spies agree to protect her and her family. They tell her to tie a scarlet cord in the window of her house, in the city wall, so that The armies of Israel will know where she is. She is also told to get all her relatives, family, into her house and keep them there or else they will not be saved. Interestingly, Rahab is named and honoured, in the Gospel of Matthew, in the blood line of Jesus. Truly a message to us all about God’s redeeming love and desire that all people are saved. The responsibility for the salvation of her family is also placed with Rahab: something that resonates with me, a father of three, that we have a charge from God to do everything in our power to bring our family and our loved ones to a faith in Jesus, through the scriptures and the power of God’s word, and through our lives.

I know that the Lord has given you this land
And that the terror of you has fallen on us
And that all of the people
Who lived upon this land
Have melted away before you

Tie this scarlet cord in the window
Through which you let us down
And gather yourselves
All into this house
Our lives for yours when we come into this town
(for we have) heard how the Lord dried up the water of the sea
And what you people did to the two kings
(And our hearts they) Melted away and no courage has remained
(The lord your) God is God in Heaven and Earth below
(Now) Swear to me since I’ve dealt kindly with you
You will also deal kindly with me
(Spare my)  father mother sister brother all who belong
And deliver our lives from death


R Packham 2019