And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
One poster on the IF: Equip blog is determined to keep us honest about the culture of Israel and those ancient times. She wants us to look deeper and not carelessly view that old century through a 20th century lens. You shouldn’t slap “accepting Jesus as your personal Savior” on a woman who lived among the clamor of hundreds of deities (or their promoters) trying gain one’s allegiance. You should make distinctions. In fact, you should not give Rahab or Rebekah or Sarah credit for actually having “faith” as we have come to understand it. These Bible women had some other motivation and maybe it just was not as holy as we would like to believe.
I, for one appreciate the challenge – even though it feels more like “the need to correct”. (Takes one to know one, I guess.) Still I firmly adhere to her signature phase “we need to remember the context” and then there is my own natural bent to challenge the “prescribed findings” and also challenge the challengers of said “prescribed finding.” Since I lean toward thinking I’m always right (insert smiley emoji here), I have to choose to open my spirit to the possibilities of a course correction. Please appreciate the struggle.
Have you ever experienced how studying the Scripture goes through levels? You start with a topic and what you’ve been told about it – you study it – you get it. You could stop there but if you push further you’ll find another level of meaning. There is this genuine sense of reward and understanding. God really speaks to you. You stop….or you keep pressing- then the big surprise is to find what they told you to start with was true. So all that work was a waste of time then? Actually no. Now you know what you know because YOU know. And while the surface outcome is not changed you get the nuance…and that nuance is a gift of Godly revelation. Maybe it’s just for you, but my guess is, it will preach.
So here is my nuance on the poster’s original words.
In the culture where I grew up, people worshipped a number of idols – money, fame, success to name a few. They all promised some kind of reward and at different times I sought the blessing of one over another as needed. Of course I had heard of the one true God and I believed He was out there doing good things for people who took him seriously. In fact, I took him seriously at some level. But the concept of monotheism was totally foreign. In my world, I thought of God – if I thought of God at all, as one of many in a pantheon of deities. I made great effort to look into any new deity that came around so I would be a wise consumer. If I saw one deity seem to gain power over another, I would switch my allegiance. One day I had an encounter with someone from the real God bunch. They gave me a little info on tagging into him. Like every other deity I had used I was motivated by self-preservation. So that night before bed I did essentially what Rahab did – I tied a scarlet cord in my window – I prayed a prayer I was given. I edited it so I would not be committing to anything I didn’t understand. I went to bed not knowing what tying a cord in the window would even mean. I woke up in a whole new world.
I call this my true faith experience. Wanting to believe in something is built in our DNA. In fact, I believe Jesus is the author of our faith – literally. We reach out in a thousand directions hoping to land on a winner this time. When our faith lands on the Only One who is worthy of it, He grabs the line, attaches it to Himself and never lets us go.
So, in whatever season or century, I’m inclined to believe faith works exactly the same.