BY AMBROSE KIRAGU
The narrative of the Israelites’ journeying from Egypt to Canaan typifies the individual Christian’s journey from conversion to glorification. It paints our own vile hearts unerringly while at the same time opening before us the inexhaustible provisions laid at our disposal by our Living God. The howling desert, strewn with corpses, is a vivid picture of a world which offers nothing for the true pilgrim while it’s daily Manna and the Rock which followed them wherever they went is a type of the rich Divine grace for us his poor, erring and ignorant children that is in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Thirty-eight years prior to our present text, twelve spies failed the nation in Kadesh- Barnea. The twelve had been sent to find out whether the land was as God had said. Obviously, the very act of spying the land whether it be good or not, was a slur against God; otherwise why would he have promised them it ‘flowed with milk and honey?’ Indeed, the twelve spies found the land to be just as God had said it would be. Only two spies had faith but were overruled by the ten who were faithless. This reminds us that in matters spiritual, rightness is not to be equated with numbers.
Now, however, two spies are sent by Joshua, not to find whether the land be good, but to see the best way of taking it, they end up in Rahab’s house. Being a prostitute’s house, they are safe. But even in such a house, they are found out and have to hide in the roof of the house with the stalks of flax. Only when it was safer did Rahab let them down by a cord through the window. Before leaving, however, they promised her that they would save her person, and all who would be in her house. To identify her house they agreed that she‘d hung a red ribbon in the very window by which they climbed down.
Rahab followed their instructions. With her family, she took refuge in the house that had a red ribbon and in the course of time, when the Israelites came to destroy Jericho, she and her family were saved. She became the prototype of all future Gentiles who would later take umbrage under the cover of the blood (red) of the everlasting covenant by faith.
What is the significance of that red ribbon? Why did they agree to put the ribbon on the window, where it would be apparent to all? Does it not appear childish; surely, what has a ribbon to do with salvation? Every day, that the wind blew that ribbon, would not the neighbors notice it and tell on her?
All these questions and many more, would engage a natural man. Not so for Rahab. She acted by faith. She ‘perished not with them that believed not,’ Heb. 11:31. Even more telling is that her faith helped save her entire family and their possessions. Marvelous display of the fullness of the salvation that is to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ!
The narrative of the red ribbon helps us to understand some fundamental working out of our salvation. Just like ourselves, the covenant arrangement that secured our salvation was a subject of discussion before it was purchased for us. ‘According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus, our Lord,’ Eph. 3:10 – Rahab’s family was completely ignorant of the arrangements being negotiated between her and the Spies. Even so, we were completely ignorant of the undertaking between the Spirit, the Son and the Father prior to the world’s creation. Secondly, the cost of their salvation was being negotiated upon another’s work – Rahab’s. Even so, was our redemption purchased by another at his own cost?
Lastly, the condition for each of Rahab’s household was simply this – ‘whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head,’ Josh. 2:19. Even so, whoever shall go out of the cover of the blood of Christ, his blood shall be upon his head.
Beloved brethren, is your hope of salvation placed on aught than the precious blood? Over and above any question, that question must be answered before you can hope for any peace with God. Only by the blood of Jesus Christ are we redeemed. 1 Pt. 1:18-19
‘Heavenly Father, make thy peace shine in my heart by the mercies of Jesus Christ, Amen.’