Rahab. She hid two spies from Israel in her home in the outer wall of Jericho. When the king demanded that she turn them over, she sent the armies on a wild goose chase; searching for the spies she claimed had already fled. She stood up to her king to preserve the lives of two Israelite spies, in service of a God she only knew through secondhand stories. When night fell, she lowered them over the wall to safety and the men promised her “a life for a life”. The scarlet cord that had lowered the young men to safety was to be kept in her window. When the Israelites came back to conqueror, it would serve as a flag; a beacon to armies sent to destroy, of where their protected ally resided. The God of nations would protect all who were in her home.
Weeks went by and word began to circulate about the approaching Israelite army. Jericho quickly shut its gates. They locked doors against the God who had just split a raging river right down the middle. I wonder how she felt? She was unsure of when the moment might be. Did she walk in confidence knowing the Savior King was on her side? Would He keep His word? She believed He would.
God gave out the instructions to the army of Israel. They were to march around the city once a day for 6 days. On the seventh day they were to march seven times. Silently. Not a word was to be uttered until the signal was given. On the seventh day, after the seventh lap, they would shout. Victory would come.
The first day of marching, I'm sure she filled her home with her loved ones, bags packed and ready at the door. But then came day 4. Day 5. Day 6. Do you think her family shook their heads and thought about leaving? “Rahab, it's almost been a week and all they're doing is walking!” Do you think she continued to check that the scarlet rope was still hanging outside her window? Tugging on it; ensuring that it was still there… still visible? Do you think that she tried to wave down the two spies she had given refuge to? Fighting the urge to send messages to the Israelite camp… “Hey, it's Rahab! Remember what you promised me!?” I can only imagine what those long days must've looked like-- family filling her home in the wall, waiting in that silence.
Then came day 7. The fulfillment of the week. This time the men marched seven times. After six days of a single lap, I guarantee you that the increase in activity was sensed by the city of Jericho. I'm sure you could feel the tension-- a chill in the air mingling with the sound of armies marching and trumpets sounding. Something was about to happen. God was about to move. Rahab had to wait to see it fulfilled. She trusted. She was given a promise from a God that she didn't know personally. What she knew of Him came from stories of His strength and recounts of His power. Yet she waited with faith. Confidence. She waited as they walked six days. She waited as they walked seven laps on the seventh day. She even waited as the children of Israel shouted, bringing down the very walls of Jericho all around her. And then she waited for the two men she had saved to come back for her. The scarlet rope signaling for her rescue, they escorted Rahab from her home in the crumbled walls, and ushered her family to safety. She waited for God’s fulfillment of His promise, and it came.
All we really know about those days of waiting are what we see in Hebrews. “By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
BY FAITH. She believed. When all was crumbling all around her, quite literally, she believed. There were plenty of opportunities in the process to turn back, to run, to take matters into her own hands. But she chose to stay, to wait. She chose peace and confidence, and the Giver of those things. God.
God is a promise-keeping God. Do you find yourself in a waiting room-- your scarlet rope hanging from the window feeling unanswered? Salvation comes. It is coming. He takes our broken, our hopeless, and makes it whole. He gives more hope. He will not allow pain without allowing something new to be born. (Is. 66:9)
Rahab mustered enough trust in a God she only knew from afar, to stand firm in a building that was crumbling around her. At some point she decided that she wasn't content to just hear of the miracles of a distant being, she wanted to step out in faith and experience Him for herself.
Step out in faith to a promise-keeping God. He has miracles to show you.
ARH Staff Writer