She had a choice. Everyone around her seemed unaware that their sinful lifestyles had brought them to this day of consequences crushing in upon their cushy lives. The fear was palpable in the air around the city as they realized that forces greater than they had ever seen were hovering outside their doorstep. They all had a choice that day. But, fear of destruction and even death was not enough to change their hearts from their rebellious nature.
She was, however, different. She stood out from the crowd. Not because of her pure unadulterated lifestyle, but because of her heart. She was a sinner just like everyone around her, but she made a choice to overcome her fears, to give in to God, and to trust Him with her life.
You probably know her story from childhood songs about a courageous man named Joshua and his conquest of the walled in city of Jericho. The song we sing with lusty voices as we march around the table in our living rooms with hand made construction paper horns blown at regular intervals doesn't say much about the brave woman who somehow survived the onslaught of that day of destruction. Why would a prostitute named Rahab be worthy of saving (and consequently, of remembering)?
She alone stood alive and well on the rubble of her once great city because she alone took the courageous step of faith that saved her life. She rescued the Hebrew spies and tied a scarlet thread in her window so they might remember to spare her life in return. Yes, it was a life for a life. She saved their lives and they saved hers in return. Isn't it like that with Jesus too?
We give our lives to Him because He gave His life so completely for us.
Why would God save Rahab? Because He looks around the whole world seeking for hearts that are sincerely dedicated to Him. God knows the heart of even a prostitute and sees her desire to serve Him through all the outer wrappings of her life. God is still seeking for hearts that are fully committed to Him, for hearts with a scarlet thread wrapped around them like a gift to the King.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to
strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
Do you remember that moment in your life when everything was crashing down around you, fear prevailed, and your sense of unworthiness as a sinner almost made it impossible to step out in faith?
I know we all have different stories to tell (and won't it be fun to hear them all someday?), but there's a common thread that runs through each of our lives and it's tied back to that crucial moment of decision. So, what's your scarlet thread?
For me, it was the day I decided that being a nerd, an unaccepted and misunderstood teenager was worth it if I knew I had God's approval and acceptance. But my scarlet thread went back even further into my childhood when I realized that the God of the Universe cared about me and loved me more than I could imagine. That was the first day I took baby steps of faith, trusting in Jesus to save me from my sinful nature and draw me into His embrace of grace and compassion.
But the scarlet thread of redemption and salvation didn't end in my childhood or in that moment of decision. It weaves it's way through my life day by day as I continually choose to give my life over moment by moment to Jesus and as I fully commit my heart to Him.
*Take just a few minutes to trace the scarlet thread through your life. Which moments tested your faith and when did you learn to lean harder upon God's promises? Where do you look back on your life and see God's hand rescuing you from the rubble and where do you see a heart that is fully committed to Him? Draw a heart with a winding thread around it and mark these momentous events on there as a visual reminder of God's hand of salvation throughout your life.