Joshua 2:21 ends with, "and she tied the scarlet cord in the window."
I was reading the account of Rahab and the spies this morning. Two things engaged my mind as I was journeying through Joshua 2. First, how the people of Canaan were afraid of the Israelites. This is like USA being afraid of Greenland. The Canaanites were numerous, mighty, large, and fortified in their walled cities, such as Jericho. And yet... their hearts were "melting with fear." Look at Joshua 2:9, "a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you." The same in Joshua 2:11, "our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you."
This was God's power at work. This was a miracle in progress. Back in Deuteronomy 2:25 the following prophecy is made, "This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you". God made these mighty Canaanites shake in their boots by shaking up their minds - filling their minds with fears, via rumours.
Rahab acknowledges this fright, but comes beyond the fear to grasp who this God is. Joshua 2:11, "for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below." Her countrymen, though they were afraid, did not turn their hearts to Jehovah. But Rahab does.
And then comes the unfolding of an echo of the Passover story, in the middle of heathen Jericho. In verses 17 thru 20, Rahab is told to tie a SCARLET cord (scarlet, like blood) in her window. She is told to gather her mother and father, her brothers and all her family into her house just as the Israelites were to gather in their houses the night the angel of the Lord passed through Egypt and killed the firstborns before the exodus.
Finally, it comes to the moment of faith. Jericho is being circled by the parade of Israelites and all of Jericho (including the king who has already once sent a message to Rahab) is "melting with fear". In the middle of this heightened security alert, Rahab has put out the scarlet cord. This would have taken faith. Would the guards not be asking her about the cord.. a possible weak link in their fortress of security. I considered the risks today as I read. Any number of spies, militia, or armed men could access the city via this dangling cord. She was putting herself out there keeping this cord in the window. They could have come to her and questioned her, or worse yet, put her into captivity or under trial for possible treason. People were often killed for less questionable behavior. And yet, here is Rahab. Faithful to the command. Obedient, despite the risks.
Here's my second point. Clearly, she was clinging in faith to the promise of salvation given to her. And what a picture this is as Easter is approaching. My faith is also based on a promise of salvation. This salvation comes via the scarlet cord of Christ's blood. And I am so grateful for that scarlet cord.
p.s. I found the "melting fear" idea to be missing from the Veggie Tales recounting of Josh and the Big Wall. This gave me yet another opportunity to discuss the true biblical account with my children, in contrast to "creative license".