Written on December 14, 2014. By Shari Norvell
Day 14 – December 14
Rahab and Salmon. In terms of length, this story is but a fraction of our history, but a mighty cobblestone in our foundation. Rahab was a resident of Jericho. Rumor was that she was a prostitute, though not one of the temple. It was most likely that she was a widow, left with no means. We don’t know her exact circumstances, but the story makes it clear that she had a family she was responsible for, in some way, at the time the spies came.
God’s spies are awesome! He is never unaware of the schemes of the enemy and He has made every provision for us to be aware. Two (number of covenant) men are sent from the Israelite camp to spy out the land of Jericho and see what the schemes of the enemy are, so the plan can be thwarted. If the men are found within the walls of the city, they will be killed. One of those men was Salmon.
Once in the city, they came upon the home of Rahab. She offered them food and a place to sleep. She offered them rest. When the King found out there were spies within the city and they were seen at Rahab’s, he demanded their removal. Rahab refused and sent the army on a wild goose chase.
While the military were scouring the streets, Rahab went to her rooftop where the spies rested to pursue their hearts. She has heard the stories of their God. She shared with them how the city is in fear because of the stories. But, where others became afraid, she became courageous.
For the stories reminded her of something. They whispered to her a simple word, “return.” Now rested and fortified, the spies make plans to leave. As they did, she made a request. She said, “I have let you rest. Now, will you be my rescue?” She asked for a true (emeth: stable and continuing) token (owth: mark, banner, miraculous) that she and her family would be safe. Salmon and his companion tell Rahab that they would trade their lives before allowing hers to be taken. The token they gave her was a scarlet line, or a tiqvah (Joshua 2:18). Tiqvah is used 33 times in scripture. In this one instance, “it means cord, or strength of the cord, God will complete”.
The other 32 times, it means “hope”. Salmon gave to Rahab, the strength of hope in a scarlet cord. He offered her a personal passover when he told her to hang it from her window. She and her family would be spared by this simple act. Hope is an amazing thing. To be without it is as being exiled. To hang it freely from our hearts window is to be found.
For quite a time, I have rested with Pappa about Proverbs 13:12. Most often when I hear it quoted, it sounds like an accusation at God. ‘Hope deferred makes a heart sick,’ and ‘hope fulfilled brings life’ is often said with the implication that God has taken too long, so we are hopeless. But our ever revealing God hid a meaning deep within the root word. It is trust. So the true translation should be, “One without trust in the Lord grows heartsick. One who trusts in the Lord, finds life. Trust means that we see God’s view as more real than our own. Salmon offered Rahab the opportunity to see God’s view of her as more tangible than the one she had of herself. She wasn’t a prostitute, she was a daughter. And she was worth saving. Rahab responded to the invitation. As the Bride is invited to place a candle in the window to declare, “I’m ready”, she hung her decree. The rescue came and saw her trust openly displayed in an bold vulnerability that something overwhelmingly good was about to happen. Because of hope, her exile ended. She was brought “into the midst” (the womb, inner court) of a people. Joshua said, “Go to the harlot’s house. Bring the WOMAN out.” She was ready and rescued!
And she became a prophecy of Ephesians 2:12-13 for us, the bride, the church. “Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”