What do you think would be the chances that 66 books written by approximately 40 different authors over the course of approximately 1,5000-2,000 years would have a single, unified message? In a day and age where it is difficult to get two people to agree to the same facts on anything is difficult enough. But this is exactly what the Bible is and does. Over the course of 66 books with 40 different God-inspired human authors living in a various locations over 1,500-2,000 years, there is one unified message. There is a scarlet cord running through it. We see it in our text today physically, but also spiritually. Joshua 2:18 says, “unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home.”
Joshua has sent spies into Jericho to see the land which God has promised to give to the children of Israel. The spies are staying a Rahab’s house. Rahab had shown them kindness by hiding them from the king’s men who came looking for them. In return, she asked them to make her a promise, that they would spare her and her family when they came and destroyed Jericho. The words of verse 18 are the terms of this agreement. The men from Israel said that all of her family must be in her home, and there must be the scarlet cord in the widow that she had let them down out of her home. As long as they stayed in the home, they were safe. Verse 19 says that if they go outside during the battle, and Rahab’s family gets killed, that is on them.
This is a historical story of how Israel came to conquer Jericho as the first city that God was giving them in the Promised Land. This story also teaches an important spiritual truth. The spiritual truth is this, there is only one way to be saved. For Rahab and her family, it was about putting a scarlet cord in the widow and staying in the home. By doing that, Rahab was demonstrating faith that the men from Israel would keep their word. It was by faith that Rahab would be saved. For you and I, it is by faith we can be saved not in a scarlet cord in a widow, but by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the only way we can be saved. The color of the cord is important, because of what imagery it creates. It creates the imagery of blood. We saw in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve sinned, God sacrificed an animal to make coats of skin to cover Adam and Eve. There was a blood sacrifice for their sins. When God was going to deliver Israel from their bondage in Egypt, they were to sacrifice a lamb and put the blood on their doorpost. In the Law, there were blood sacrifices that were to be offered for the sins of the people. We see the scarlet cord here in Joshua. All of this points us to the sinless Lamb of God offering His life in our place for the forgiveness of our sins. That’s the unified message of the Bible; God created everything perfect and mankind had perfect fellowship with God, but sin broke that fellowship. In His love, God sent His Son to die in the place of sinners so that He could redeem us back to Himself and show His power and His grace for His glory. In doing so, God set it up that there was only one way a person could be saved, and the Bible is a record of that story of redemption both then, now, and until He returns.
In light of all of this, I think there are a few things we need to think through. First, have you trusted in the Gospel as the only way to be saved? It is more than a profession of belief, it is a lifestyle that models dependence on and obedience to Jesus. This is why Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Let every man examine himself to see if he is in the faith or not.” And second, are you spreading this message everywhere you go? That is the call of a disciple of Jesus, to make disciples of all nations. If people could only know two things about us, let it be these two things; our love for God and our love for them by sharing with them the Gospel that has saved us and that can save them.
By His grace and for His glory,