I love when we see glimpses of the gospel in the Old Testament. It is everywhere. After all, Jesus instructed the disciples after his resurrection, showing them how all the Old Testament pointed to him. And in my daily Bible reading, one caught my eye.
IN Joshua 2, the men who when to spy out the land were hidden and protected by Rahab. This woman knew that the Lord had given her city over to destruction and that the people of Israel would conquer. And she pled for her life and the lives of her family.
Joshua 2:17-21 – 17 The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. 19 Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. 20 But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” 21 And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
The men promised Rahab protection. But their promise was conditional. Those who would be protected did not have to perform a ritual. Neither did they have to behave in a certain way so as to earn the favor of others. They merely had to hide in her house. They had to get out of the streets and shelter in a room with a window bearing a scarlet cord. But all who refused to take shelter in that room would be subject to the fury of the conquering army.
Does the red cord remind us of the saving blood of Jesus? Perhaps. But the picture as a whole reminds us of Jesus even more. The Savior has told all of humanity that there is a place of shelter. There is a room in which to be hidden from the wrath of God we all have earned. Coming to the cross and sheltering in Christ is how to be saved. And refusing to enter leaves you exposed to the judgment of God.
We cannot fight God and survive. All we can do is shelter in the only place provided for our souls’ salvation. We trust in Jesus. We believe in his perfect life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection. We turn from sin and ask God for mercy. And the Lord says that all who come to him in that faith are sheltered from his judgment and welcomed into his family.