Day 11 – December 11
Ornament – Window and Scarlet Cord
This is the rhythmic record of Rahab found in Joshua 3:1 – 4:24.
Rahab resided in Jericho. The people of the city thought they owned the land and all that surrounded city. But no matter how far back they could trace their ownership, it never belonged to them. These that held tight to their ways had heard about God and His mighty feats. The parting of the Red Sea, the wonder of the wilderness and the defeat of kings and countries were not foreign to their soil. Rahab not only heard. She believed.
When the two spies join the story of Jericho, they explore the lay of the land and find a woman who knows the Word of God better than many of their people do. For the Israelites have ceased recounting testimony and triumph and have been grumbling about what is given, for their good. They simply can’t see it all yet. They’ve lost sight of the unseen and stopped responding to the seed inside them. They are no longer willing to walk fully with God, dismembered by discontent.
As they stopped stewarding seed, the pierced place for His awakening breath closed as a form of protection. The stagnation of satisfied stunted their growth and they could no longer multiply their kind or His kindness.
For the two spies, Rahab does an incredible thing. She ushers them into silence. Upon rooftop, she gave them a place to be with the Lord and let Him sort all that was within them. She gave them time to reconcile to the root of who they were created and called to be, before continuing their journey.
Rahab may have well remembered the story of another set of spies. The troop of two trees. Ten climbed the tree of not enough and never. Two swung from the branches of all He said.
Her gift to them was space to be sorted and silenced until it was time for them to fertilize the fallow. Upon their departure, she asked for one thing. A token of the Word of the Lord. The voucher they gave was a scarlet line or tiqvah. Tiqvah is used thirty-three times in Scripture. In this one instance it means, “cord, strength of cord, God will complete.” In its other thirty-two uses, it means “hope”.
Salmon offered Rahab a personal Passover when he told her to hang the sign of her trust from walled window. She and her family would be spared from this simple act. Hope is an amazing thing. To be without it, is to be exiled. To hang it freely from our heart’s window, is to be found.
In taking hold of the token, Rahab asked that every Word of the Lord she had ever heard, be made true in her life. She asked for the chance to steward and spread after His kind. As His kindness.
Before their lips could part, Rahab declared the Word of the Lord she believed. She never spoke of the prowess of Jericho’s armies, the might of the soldiers, or how vast the army was. There were no weak spots she unveiled. She simply said His Word. To her, the battle was already won, because of His victorious Word.
“The people are melting in fear. The Lord will give you this city.”
She reminded them of Who their God was. She gave them victory to visualize.
When they returned to Joshua, they didn’t speak any of their own words. They repeated, instead, the words of a rebel.
Rahab’s recorded words explained why she waited in faith and took risks. They revealed the very structure and architecture of her faith.
Though the Israelites should have been burgeoning with seed for her, she filled them with fruit.
Her words to the spies were all Joshua needed to respond to the breathed life stirring around the Word of God in him. “This is your promise. This is the land I’ve already spoken. It’s planted with purpose. The people inside were my builders, farmers and well diggers. They unknowingly prepared the way for you to be fruitful.”
Remembered words are like trees by the river, that saturate and sustain.
After sending the spies, Rahab, does something weighty. She waits. Silent and still with His Word and a promise from His people. She and her family will be spared. Would this come from their might and metal? No. It would be birthed by her faithfulness to the Word planted in her.
This salvation would not just be for those in her household, but her entire extended family. This didn’t mean they would be gleaned during the coming occupation of Jericho, but that she was to gather them.
She didn’t know how long it would take for the men to return to the city, nor how long those scattered relatives would need to be held fast. Her wait would become theirs. To wind them up in the wait, she could only have planted them with the seed of His speech. She must have multiplied things according to their kind.
I’ve always wondered about her wait. From her crimsoned window, could she see? For she was placed strategically. Not by armed forces, but by God. Her home was part of the wall. So her sparing would not simply be slipping out unnoticed. It would be a feat of finding her faithful, in her house, looking like a tree of life along the landscape. A tower of testimony.
From the frame where she was found, could she see beyond her borders? For Pappa always frames His Word.
From the fringe of her faith, could she see the Jordan? Or the company of people (men, women and children) now numbering two million. When the priests passed the people through the Jordan, could she see the rivers rolled back twenty miles, to the town of Adam? To the beginning?
As she held the Word inside, could she see currents piled high, as a stilled storm?
From her wreath of wonder, could she see the two million people or hear them as they crossed? I can’t imagine their lips were pursed through the passing. They must have been praising.
Obedient in the outline, did she see the knives drawn for the cut of circumcision? Men must have moaned and their women wailed for them. Was she afraid when cries of pain rang out instead of call to battle?
To be uncircumcised means “to be lost of delight?” Could she tell they were waiting for weapon stronger than sword? The ability to enjoy His Word, eat of its fruit once more and share it with each other.
No, I think she was so matted in the mounting that she remembered she wasn’t promised an army. She was assured rescue. She couldn’t take her eyes from what the border boasted.
The army of 600,000, whose mighty exploits struck terror in the hearts of the wildest warrior, were brought to their knees, unable to defend themselves. Surrounded by such a scene, hope must have grown like vine (or cord) from her window. Her faith went so much farther, as she believed boldly.
Once again the men took to their feet. But not for fight. For feast. Pesach had been paused for far too long. Only once in forty wildernessed years had they observed its come and go, though it was the reminder of their own deliverance.
From the veil of her valance could she hear lambs bleating? Or inhale the fragrance of them over spits of fire? Could she celebrate their sacrifice with them and be drawn to what He was doing instead of what He wasn’t? Did she see them sitting, reclined and vulnerable?
As wind caught scent and wound her way, Rahab had to depend on His breath upon her Word. Knowing He would be faithful because He had framed.
Maybe as she was hemmed and they hungered, she considered it fortification for the free-for-all. But was her family asking questions? Were they asking her where this God was? Pushing her to prove the Word they thought He should be performing? Her answer must have been one word. Wait. Was it powerful enough to hold them to hope? Together.
And then, up from the table they came, dishes cleared, fires quenched. The mighty moment had come. I think Rahab could see every single step, feel the vibrations of their march, as they encircled the city.
On the first day, they must have been in her field of vision as she stood planted in their field of harvest. And there they stood, silent. Without a word. The only Word she had was the one she had been given. And it was the only one she needed.
It must have struck her with such awe, when the men marched around the city, soundless. Shouldn’t she have fought fear, as in the frame before her, they just as quietly marched back to camp? No, because she allowed the active Word of the Lord to strengthen her. Seeing didn’t equal knowing. Yet that is when knowing matters most. He was active and she knew He had come to complete.
In the unseen, she waited for the Word to grow. When the view changed, her perspective didn’t. Rahab’s mind continually went behind the veil to the presence of God.
She was vulnerable enough to allow her faith be visible. She was the sprout. She inspired others. When her situation looked hopeless, she displayed hope. She knew how to wait. She wasn’t afraid of what she couldn’t yet see.
Day two dawned. The second of silence. Days three, four, five and six continued the same. Did her family now need speech? Or could they wait with wonder? I think her contentment was enough to calm and convince. She, with everything she needed, fed them from her fulness. Day by day, she was bearing fruit and they were feasting.
Framed in her window she remained, growing hope from her trust. As her trust spilled into the city, hope climbed its walls. For He would do as He said. Let it be done. A woman to come in Heaven’s line would say such. A mother sprouted from these moments.
She couldn’t have known it was the last day, as the men encircled the city again. It was then that her surrender birthed a suddenly. A shout rang, silence turned to sound and the cage of Jericho crumbled. Every part, except one portion. Rahab’s house. Every place, but the sacred space where the Word of God was living and growing. From the frame, where she willingly sat satisfied and let Him create, breathe on and bring fulness to everything He had said to her.
It was then that the men brought her out, just as they said they would. She and the entirety of her family. She who had seen surgery and seder was now safe and sound.
I wonder if a year later, she sat with them as Pesach. She had her own captivity and rescue to celebrate at wood, with wine. But it was the shared story that meant the most. There she was stayed by the Word of her beginning, the Word of her present and the Word of her future. The Word that she fed her family with. The feast that kept them from fleeing and found them faithful.
Could she have even imagined, much less comprehended then, that the same Jordan River that she watched roll back, would be the baptismal fount for Jesus? A place where Elohim would be present with the fulness of the Word from the beginning. He was the Word. He is the Word. The Word, fully recognized.
He framed His Word with Christ. As Christ. From her line. Not her line of sight, but her line of love that lingered. Carrying His Word grafted her in. As seed was sifted, a girl was grafted. Her response made her a mother of Christ. A carrier of covenant.
Since I was girl of seven, I have been aware of His speaking. The first word He spoke to me was “Wonder”. He offered it as name, one I could call Him.
In Hebrew, Wonder is, ‘pala’ and means “a miracle, a marvelous thing.” I have been marveled since that day of His first Word to me and at each and every Word He has spoken since and completed. Those in my sight and those that haven’t entered my view just yet.
Wonder is often tied in Scripture to remembering what He has made known. The weaver of testimony, Wonder is.
I will never get over, I will never even try, that He speaks within my hearing. That He trusts me with the seed of His speech. And that He sees my heart, hung heavy with hope, and tends to it so tenderly. I am undone that His tending invites me to be soil for His splendor, a place to plant His growing, living Word.
Photo credit: <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/photos/celebration‘>Celebration photo created by Racool_studio – www.freepik.com</a>
Sundown 2 – LET
“Let there be light.” What a moment! In it, Pappa filled the sky with our story. He created the I AM circle as He set in motion the circuit of the sun, moon and stars. Enclosed within tabernacles dim, are lingering lanterns awaiting sun’s light. Each tent makes room for the sun to dwell, like a bridegroom in His wedding tent. Engulfed in the midst, is our invitation to to do the same, to complete the darkness, so the story of His hidden heart can be revealed.
It was during the Feast of Dedication that Jesus healed the blind man of John 9.
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the glory of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Having said these things, He spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva.
Then He anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “sent”). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7
Why does Jesus do all He does? That the glory of God would be seen and known, in us. Though we were formed from dust, He knows we become hard and so waters our waste into softened form. Mud, to heal and hope us. Flesh wet with spirit can believe, receive and come back seeing.
No “coincidence” is there that menorahs of old (and many still today) were filled with oil, for that is what kings and priests are anointed with when they are recognized and revealed.
In a moment, Jesus anointed a meager man as more. He let there be light, so the man could see more than the scene before him. So he could see all he’d never seen before. His chaos became crown. His scales, scepter. His return was royal.
Jesus is both King and Priest. As He is, we are. Lowercase kings (and queens!!) alongside the uppercase KING. Priests, oil carriers who anoint each time we recognize the KING in each other. Light bearers, letting light ignite the flame again and again, just as THE story is told over and over. May we never forget. May we ever remember.
BEATITUDE (Let this be our attitude)
Blessed (abundant) are they mourn for they will be comforted.
The Hebrew words for “wait” and “mourn” are almost identical. What a promise!!
Those who wait with Him, for the joy set before them, even when grief fills the space, will be comforted or ‘nethbayoon’, which means “to see the face of the One upon who you wait.”
So grateful for the Light He let there be! Baby to Savior.