“This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down.” . . .“Agreed,” [Rahab] replied. “Let is be as you say.” So she sent [the spies] away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. (2:17, 21)
Joshua led the Israelites through the Jordan into the promised land. As long as they followed the counsel of the Commander of the Lord, they were successful, defeating their enemies and establishing themselves in the promised land. Their enemies trembled before them; those who feared the Lord made covenants and were spared. Rahab, a Gentile prostitute living in Jericho, was protected by the red cord tied to her window as a pledge of deliverance given to her and her family by the two spies she had hidden from death. When all the nations had been subdued, Joshua had the people swear an oath to serve only the Lord, leaving behind the gods of the nations around them.
“The Scarlet Cord”
A thin red cord dangles between heaven and earth,
Binding the prostitute to God’s people.
Trumpets blast, fears rise, walls crumble,
But the oath holds fast.
Led by the Commander of the Lord, through the baptism of the Jordan,
Victory follows those who trust.
Armies scatter, kings tremble, adversaries are destroyed.
Who can stand against the arm of the Lord?
Choose this day who you will serve.
Bind your heart with the holy cord of redemption.
Build an altar with the stones of remembrance and sacrifice
To the one who fulfills his promises.
The painting is from Mindi Oaten’s “Garden of Grace Collection.” The writing is by Elaine Knudtson