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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

The Scarlet Line

Today’s Verse:

And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. ~Joshua 2:21


The Oxford dictionary defines a “lifeline” as "a thing on which someone or something depends or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation." For someone trapped on an upper floor of a building on fire, a lifeline is vital to his rescue. For someone who is trying to escape being captured or hurt, the lifeline is vital to his escape and getaway. Our devotion this morning is about a lifeline that helped a woman and her family escape a danger.

We see the situation.

Two Hebrew spies came to the house of a woman known as Rahab the harlot to seek refuge and also to scope out the city of Jericho. Rahab proclaimed her faith and acknowledgement of the God of Israel. In doing so, she renounced the pagan gods that she at one time had worshipped. She heard about how God parted the Red Sea for Israel and allowed them to pass over dry shod. She said, “For the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” She asked the spies to be merciful to her and her family during the coming destruction of Jericho. They agreed to delivering her and her family, and she let them down a window by a scarlet cord, or line, so that they could escape.

We see the sign.

The men told her to tie the scarlet line to the window so that it would be visible from the outside. That cord signified that Rahab and her family lived in that home. It guaranteed them deliverance as long as they remained in that home when Israel’s invasion came. If anyone went outside the home, his blood would be on his own head. This meant that it was risky for Rahab’s family to go away from where the scarlet cord was. However, as long as they stayed in that home, they were assured safety and deliverance. When the walls of Jericho came down and Israel came into the city, Joshua and the spies looked for the house with the scarlet line hanging outside the window. It was a sign that they had faith that they would be saved and delivered.

We see the salvation.

The scarlet cord meant their salvation. As long as it hung out their window, it meant that they had faith in salvation from the God of Israel. They had faith in the words of the spies. Without that scarlet cord hanging out their window, they would face condemnation with the people in Jericho. Rahab and her family were safe because of their faith. In Joshua 6:25, we read, “And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had.” Salvation is deliverance from danger. Every sinner is saved from God’s judgment on sin by placing his faith in the shed blood and death of Christ on the cross for his sin.

We see the symbol.

The color scarlet is made from the dried bodies of a worm. It is the death of the worm that ultimately results in the scarlet color. The scarlet cord is a symbol of the death and shed blood of Jesus for every sinner. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. The lifeline for eternal life and forgiveness of our sins is faith in the atoning work of Christ on the cross for us. Just as there was no other salvation for Rahab’s family, there is no other salvation apart from Christ. The scarlet thread runs throughout the Bible, speaking of the shed blood of Christ as being necessary for salvation. Let’s be thankful for the blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin.

Have a washed God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 30-31

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