The Scarlet Cord of Hope

And she tied the scarlet cord in the window” Joshua 2:21(NASB)

The city of Jericho was securely shut up that none went out, and none came in. The city gates were closed as the children of Israel camped outside, ready to take over. The people of Jericho trembled in fear at the sight of the multitude. The judgment of God had fallen on them. The King and his people feared the God who divided the Red Sea and who utterly destroyed King Sihon of Amorites and King Og of Bashan on the other side of the Jordan River. Their hearts were filled with anxiety and despair upon hearing the mighty acts that the Lord did for His people. The stage was set for the conquest.

On the other side of the wall stood the newly appointed Israel’s leader, Joshua, strong and courageous. Joshua gave marching orders to the priests and the army as instructed by God. Then, on the seventh day, by the sound of the trumpet blast and a loud shout, the unthinkable happened. The fortified walls came crashing down miraculously and the Israelites blitzed the city of Jericho. “Then they burned the whole city and everything in it,” all except for one harlot and her family. The harlot’s name was Rahab.

Days before the Jericho wall collapse, Joshua sent two spies into the city to scope the land. Rahab accommodated the spies in her home and gave them protection. She knew that the Lord had given them this land. The spies gave Rahab a token for her cordial and peaceful acts toward them. The men said to her, “…when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household.  It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head…” (Joshua 2:18-19).

The scarlet cord is our symbol of preservation from God’s wrath if we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

God’s patience and tolerance towards the people of Jericho had dried up. But, Rahab had faith in God, and she believed in the invisible God who is able to save her. When she heard the walls of Jericho shaking, her heart was calm because she received the token for her rescue. The salvation of Rahab and her family was dependent on this scarlet cord that hung from her window. This cord marked her house to be safe. The same way, the sprinkled blood on the doorpost saved the Israelites from the Angel of Death during the Passover. The blood on the doorpost, and now the scarlet cord on the window spared them from God’s judgment.

The day of wrath and the righteous judgment of God is yet to come when He will render to each person according to his deeds. The scarlet cord is our symbol of preservation from God’s wrath if we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It represents the blood of Christ which has been shed for our sins. Christ is man’s only hope of rescue from God’s judgment to come.

Rahab was certain that the victory of Israel over Jericho was imminent, so she was prepared. Just as the people of Jericho heard the blowing trumpets by the priests and the shout of the army before the siege, so the “Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God,” and Christ will judge the earth. Will you be prepared as Rahab was? Rahab was given a scarlet cord to mark her safe from Joshua and his army. We are given a risen Savior that has conquered death so we can have life eternal and be saved from the deserving wrath of God. The Lord says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). The price has been paid to offer this scarlet cord for your salvation. Will you tie it around the windows of your heart?

George John

George John resides in Hawthorne, New Jersey with his wife Eirene and four children. He is in active fellowship with the believers in Elmwood Park Bible Chapel, New Jersey and serves as the Sunday School Principal. George is also a pharmacist by trade.

You can read other articles by George here.