Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Rahab and the red cord


A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
Joshua 2:17-19
New King James Version (NKJV)
17 So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. 19 So it shall be thatwhoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will beguiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his bloodshall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.

At the first passover the people of Israel painted the blood of the lamb over their doors and the death angel passed over them and did not take their first born.

The red cord of Jesus' blood stretchs through history we see it again in the story of Rahab. She shelters the Hebrew spies that have come to check out Jerico. She hides them in her home when they leave they tell her to put a scarlet chord out her window so when they attack she will be saved. She and all those in her house would spared from the coming destruction. Later she marries a prince of Judah named Salmon. This harlott become part of the family line of Jesus and His blood line is traced through her.

"If life is in the blood and only His blood gives life, we might trace the scarlet cord from before time, were that possible. Then we pick it up in Genesis. The promise that the woman's Seed shall overcome death and restore Paradise came to be fulfilled through Jesus' sacrifice and His resurrection. Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 when he told his disciples about his death. He said that unless a seed fall into the ground and dies it cannot give life. (John 12:24)"~ Alice Linsley

So the way my brain works - I started searching where cord, thread, rope were used in the bible. There is a lot of red thread used in the Tabernacle. I found this interesting story about Judah and Tamar. 

Judah takes a wife for his son named Tamar. The son later dies and the custom is that a kinsman redeemer takes the wife and see to it that a child is born to pass on the deceased family line. Judah promises to give her another of his sons when the boy gets older. He does not keep his promise. Finally Tamar takes matters in her own hands dresses up like a harlott and waits for Judah. She asks what he will give her for her services, and he says he'll send a goat. She is a smart ducky and asks for something as a pledge till he sends the goat. Here's what she asks for in Genesis 38:18  “Your signet and cord, and your staff that is in your hand.” According the the Reformation Study Bible a signet was " A cylinder seal, worn on a cord around the neck, was the insignia of a prominent man. He signed contracts by rolling the seal over the clay on which the contract was etched." The signet could be hung on a cord or also often in the form of a ring.

Well of couse when she is found pregnant there is a big stink but at that time she produces the signet belonging to Judah. She has twins and there is a scarlet thread in this story too. 28 And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first. 29 Then it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said, “How did you break through? This breach beupon you!” Therefore his name was called Perez.30 Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah." 
Guess which one is in the family tree of Jesus? Go look in Matthew 1:2-6.
This post is going in a direction I had not quite anticipated. I've touched on Rahab and gone off chasing a scarlet cord, thread, rope and blood line. They seem to always mark something. For Rahab it protected her and her family.  In the case of Tamar she marks the first and the second born child. When we take communion we are marked by the blood of Jesus. During the Passover the people of Israel put the blood over the door. The scarlet tread is not only woven through history in the blood lines leading to Jesus but from there it fans out and becomes a brilliant tapestry in and through each of our lives.

He has marked and sealed your life, over you he places the scarlet chord of his precious blood. You are marked for redemption as well as kingly/priestly service before him. I look around and I wonder were are the champions of our day, will they rise up to become the king/priests they are called to be. Granted many of you are broken and wounded. It is time to do the work of allowing Him to heal and set you free. It is time to become his Champion of grace and mercy. It is time to get off the couch and the sick bed, to get strong in Jesus and go and do battle to rescue the oppressed, the least, and the lost.

We doubt the things he puts in our hearts to do and to be. You say to him, "I am too broken, I am too weak, all the confidence has been beaten out of me". I say to you that humility is a powerful force. Maybe you've been disappointed so many times, you don't know what to do. You need to recognize that it is not you, but Him working in and through you is. Champions need to find one another and cover each others backs because the armor does not cover the back. We as fellow champions must cover one another. We must stop thinking that the story is all about ourselves and realize it is His-Story and we have been woven into it together. Humility is a powerful force but even greater still is unity. When two stand together in Him it becomes a three fold cord that is not easily broken. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

 Champions are created to work in pairs. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two.Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go."

Even in this story of Rahab you will notice that two spies were sent.
If you have been paying attention you will have noticed that the people that God uses are not perfect, steller examples of humanity. They are broken, messed up people like us. 


Personal Update : For those of you wanting an update on my current faith journey. On Friday I went to the Spokane Healing Rooms for prayer and the team that prayed over me felt I was right in step with Jesus. Then I visited Work Source and found out I need to go back Monday for an orientation. Next, I went to one of the local Universities, to get a catalog, and find out the enrollment process and next steps. 

I'm wanting to find something new to do that will not only provide a decent income to support my family but also be something that would be valuable for work on the mission field that might eventually help me get into places that are less open to the gospel. That missions part is a long way down the road, and probably will only be short term missions. 
So far some sort of nursing is in the lead but I am considering what other things might also work. My biggest concern with nursing is the math. I had a friend assure me that they would be willing to help tutor me if its over my head. Ha -  if it requires much beyond balancing a check book, I'm in trouble. I am blessed to know that I have family and friends who are being wonderfully supportive through this transformation process.  

Today I worked on closing my art and music studio spaces at the church and I began moving everything to a storage facility. It was a bit more emotionally difficult than I had hoped. At this point the new dream is still formative, fuzzy and filled with unknowns and uncertainty. I will probably look back and realize that being released from having to make a living with art, music and ministry will end up being a big plus. Today it felt more like the death of a loved one.  At this point I still have a lot of packing and moving to do, but good progress was made today. There were some hard spots but all in all I'm in pretty good spirits about this whole change process. I don't want to stay a caterpillar - its time to be transformed.  Maybe you need to allow Him to transform you as well. 

I have managed to put my house some what back in order from all the moving and shifting of stuff. My office work area looks better, since it now has my nicer studio furniture. 
So it has been a busy, productive couple of days. I would certainly appreciate your prayers.  



5 comments:

  1. Thanks, Margot

    What a wonderful, inspirational post. That scarlet thread - hmmmmm - I shall be more aware of it now.

    Felicity

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Felicity.
      Glad you enjoyed this post.

      Blessings, Margot

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  2. The story of Rahab and the implications of it are an interesting aspect that many people don't know about.

    I wish you well with your future endeavors.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee,
      I'm working on figuring out the next steps one at a time.
      Thanks for your encouragement.

      Blessings, Margot

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  3. I admire you for adding your own faith journey. Best wishes.

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