Anglican Morning Devotion for 1 May 2021 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
(Hebrews 11:3; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“Throw out the lifeline across the dark wave” goes the opening line of an old Gospel hymn. That lifeline was one of spiritual salvation as much as it was to save from the swirling tide. But there is another lifeline proffered in Holy Writ that begins at Eden and ends at Revelations – The Scarlet Cord of Sacrifice and Redemption. That Cord was conceived in the Mind of God long before the worlds were formed, and God’s only Begotten Son was designated to be the ultimate realization of the Salvation it afforded. We have the primitive picture of the blood sacrifice in Genesis 3:21, and of the Passover in Egypt, and in the episode of Abraham’s travel to Mt. Moriah (the mount of the Temple Mound) to sacrifice Isaac, and in many other places; however, today’s devotion will center on a harlot woman who gained the Lord’s favor in the fall of Jericho to the Children of Israel.
Joshua (a type of Christ and technically the same name in Hebrew as Jesus in Greek) sent two spies into Jericho to search out the city. They found shelter in the home of Rahab, the harlot. She protected them and hid them from the men of the city. Her story can be read in Joshua 2. Before the city fell, she let the men down the wall of Jericho with a Scarlet Cord after gaining a promise from them to preserve her life and those of her family. Rahab and her family were saved by that same Scarlet Cord that saved the two men of Israel. Joshua honored that promise at the Fall of Jericho. “But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.” (Joshua 6:22-23) And so it was: “And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” (Joshua 6:25)
In spite of her sinful past, Rahab was saved in a moment, along with all her family, by a single act of faith. Faith is a gift of grace that is given without merit of the beneficiary. It is difficult to explain how such a woman could have taken pity on the Hebrew spies without the implantation of faith in her heart by the work of the Holy Ghost. Her salvation was a genuine covenant based on her faith that resulted in the salvation of her entire family. It can be a covenant relationship with our own children and family. Remember Zacchaeus was saved that very night – he and his whole household.
Consider the continuing blessings of grace afforded Rahab. Rahab (Rachab in Matthew) became the mother of Boaz (the husband of Ruth) and the great grandmother of King David in the line through which the Lord Jesus Christ was ‘legally’ descended. “And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias.” (Matthew 1:5-6)
Along with faith, there often comes grave risks; but God is able to see us through the fires of persecution and danger. Rahab had faith in the right amount to see her through a time of terror and on to victory. Though she was never in real danger under the watchful eye of the Lord, Rahab could only have known that through faith.
Do you have the faith of Rahab? Have you extended the Scarlet Cord of Salvation to your family members or neighbors who need to recognize their calling in Christ? While we have opportunity to share the Gospel truth in times of peace, perhaps we can at least have the courage and faith of Rahab to do so as she did under the threat of death. “Throw out the Lifeline across the dark sea!”