The Scarlet Cord


When Heidi and her family came for Thanksgiving she brought me a gift. I love gifts! In it was the book, The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. Heidi shares my love of reading and we had been discussing this book when I was up in Eugene for radiation. It’s a book about Advent. For those of you who are unaware, Advent or the coming, is something that Christians do to prepare their hearts in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day. It’s reading of scriptures that tell of Christ’s coming, it’s lighting of candles and well it’s a lot of things and each family does Advent in their own way.

I am enjoying the book as it is going along each day, tracing family members in the lineage of Jesus, his family tree. We got to Rahab the other day and although I have read the story several times over the years, this time it was different. The point of walking the reader through Jesus’s family tree is so that you can see that his family is just as messed up and disfunctional as the rest of our families. Out of a family full of liars, cheaters, abusers and prostitution to name a few, came the Savior of the world.

The story is found in the book of Joshua 2:1-21. Joshua has sent two spies into Jericho to scout out the city. They come to the house of “a prostitute named Rahab.” (NLT) Because she was a prostitute they knew she’d let them in, but instead of favors they asked for sanctuary. She had heard of their escape out of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea and of all of the conquests that had been made since. She had come to know that… “The Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.” Joshua 2:11

So Rahab took a leap of faith. She hid the spies. Ann writes,

” she’s one woman alone with the grime of too many nights on her hands, the weight of too many wounds on her heart  — a woman who looks up in her Godless mess and sees the tenderness of God. In a place of faithlessness and doubtfulness and godlessness, God gives God… God who is never limited by lack or restricted to the expected; the God who is no respector of persons but the relentless rescuer of prodicals; the God who gives the gift of faith in the places you’d most doubt. That is always the secret to the abundant life: to believe that God is where you doubt He can be.”

So Rahab risks everything and hides the spies and asks for her and her extended family to be spared during the destruction of Jericho. A family mind you who is more than likely embarrassed by her and has rejected her because of her chosen profession. She in her one act of faith spares them all.

“Rahab the scarlet woman, flings a scarlet cord out her window- that one thread everything’s hanging on. And that scarlet cord is her identity- …and Rahab is delivered by that singular scarlet cord and tied into the Jewish family. And God makes the former woman of the night into a woman of the court- a princess and a wife of a Jewish prince, Salmon.”

Salmon? He was one of the two spies that Rahab hid that fateful night. She protected him and he fell in love. Rahab went on to be the mother of Boaz, who was the husband of Ruth. Ruth was the mother of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse and Jesse was the father of King David. The greatest king who ever lived and a direct descendant of Jesus.

Isn’t that cool? One act of faith, one Scarlet Cord and a family was redeemed. I love this story because it demonstrates once again how God uses imperfect, messed up people to bring about great things. Rahab, a prostitute, is one of two women mentioned in Hebrews as someone who lived with great faith. If God did that in her life, what does he want to do in mine? In yours?

Life is really hard and I am trying desperately to see the bigger picture. To rise above my day to day realities and see that it is all part of God’s master plan. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to display great faith and to hang the scarlet cord on the front door.

Have A Very Merry Christmas My Friends!!

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  1. As always, very well said!

  2. So glad this book is significant to you too. Miss you and love you.

  3. Love❤️

  4. I sent you my new favorite book in the mail…..I think you’re going to love it as much as I do!

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