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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Golden maples on Donegal Spring Road
Golden Maples on Donegal Springs Road near Mount Joy, PA
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"The Scarlet Cord Of Redemption"

"And she tied the scarlet cord in the window" (Joshua 2:21b). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:7,8).

Today we especially consider those who feel they have little to no hope as we write our message today.  Among the saddest of human conditions is the sense of having no hope.  And the severest form of hopelessness is spiritual hopelessness while the greatest form of hope is spiritual hopefulness.

Rahab is introduced into the Scriptural record as a prostitute (Joshua 2:1) and both biographical references to her in the New Testament epistles (Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25) forthrightly remind the reader that she was a prostitute. She was also a resident of doomed Jericho so what kind of hope could she possibly have?

Dr. W. A. Criswell wrote, "Rahab the harlot is an example of the grace of God at work. Her salvation was not based on her character or merits: she lived in a doomed city, practiced a condemned profession, engaged in subversive activities, and falsified [lied about] her actions. Nevertheless she acted upon faith, and was spared the judgment of God which was executed at the hands of the Israelites."

But providentially she was a part of God's plan and provided the means of deliverance for the two spies whom Joshua had sent to look over the land.  In recognizing the spies she acknowledged their God with a powerful statement of faith when she declared, "The LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below" (Joshua 2:11). In exchange for providing protection for the spies she pleaded with them for the salvation of herself and that of her family. They promised her, "We will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land" (Joshua 2:14).

But there was a condition. She was to tie the scarlet cord in the window.  The scarlet cord for Rahab was a practical sign of her faith and obedience. Perhaps it also identified her location at the time of the conquest so that she and her family would be spared. It is also a symbol of grace, for it had absolutely no capability of saving her or her family from the destruction that befell Jericho. As early as the first century, commentators saw this scarlet cord as a symbol of the blood of Jesus.

I find it interesting that Rahab obediently hung out the scarlet cord immediately after the spies left. She didn't wait until they returned or until the city was in the midst of destruction. She made a decision and acted upon it immediately. A wise course for all of us: "Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 3:7,8).  "Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Our spiritual "scarlet cord" is the wonderful grace of Jesus. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding" (Ephesians 1:7,8).

Our salvation is a matter of grace from start to finish. Rahab had no rights to God's favor and neither do we.  But through the scarlet cord of redemption through faith we also become members of God's family. Now that's a hope we all need today!  In spite of all the other issues we are dealing with, it provides for us an assurance concerning that which matters most. We pray that today you will place your faith in Christ for salvation.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, when I consider the scarlet cord being the lifeline for Rahab I also think of the umbilical cord in the life of a baby.  In Your marvelous creation of new life You made the umbilical cord to be an unborn baby's lifeline that delivers the nutrients and oxygen needed for normal development through its life-giving mother.  My redemptive lifeline is the transmission of Your pure, scarlet blood so that I can receive absolute forgiveness for my transgressions. You forgive so completely that even the vilest offender who truly believes that very moment from Jesus a pardon receives. May I never be drawn to any other temporal lifeline but only the eternal redemptive lifeline of Your scarlet blood that saves unto the uttermost.

Personal note: We have two seperate house guests and we're enjoying some great fellowship as we are together recalling warm memories of our many years of worshiping in the same church.

Matangelo family & Jeanette 11-09-10

From back left to right: Brooksyne, Jeanette Paradis (Neizmik), Kathy and Mike Matangelo.  Front:  Tina Matangelo & Ester

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
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"Mighty To Save"  Video  

"And Can It Be"  Video

"God Will Make A Way"  Video

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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