It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:30-31 NLT
After the walls of Jericho collapsed, there was a piece of cord hanging. It was Rahab’s cord of faith. Her faith continued to grow. It was her faith that kept her family from being destroyed. Day after day, as the marching Israelites approached the walls led by the Ark of the Covenant, she realized their imminent victory. She had shown her obedience to the clear directions given her by God through the spies. She kept all her family in her home, just as she had been told. Though some of her family member may have questioned her wisdom, she did not yield, but rather insisted that they remain. Her obedience bears evidence to an amazing faith. Her obedience matched that of the encircling Israelites. Her faith was focused to God alone. “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below (Joshua 2:9-11). The symbol that revealed Rahab’s great faith was the scarlet cord she hung from her window over the wall of Jericho. She followed the instructions given to her by the spies. “When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house.” (Joshua 2:19). She completely trusted the God of the Israelites that there will be judgment coming but for her and her family it means salvation. When James in the New Testament was describing faith that produces work, he mentioned Abraham and Rahab. Rahab matches the faith of Abraham. “Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?” (James 2:21). “Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road” (James 2:26). True faith results in action even when it is costly to act. Rahab was a sinner and did not understand everything but despite her flaws, she learned how to trust God and that trust prompted her to take actions.