Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In Her Sandals -- Rahab

I told the men I knew that their Lord, their Yahweh had given them this land. Otherwise, people in the city would not be in such a panic. People running around like a chicken with their head cut off. I really had never seen it at this level before, almost frenzied. I had heard the stories about these Israelite people walking on dry land through the Red Sea and about how they destroyed other kings. I knew these things by listening to the men who came into my home and from people in the market place. Some people were skeptical about the walking through the Red Sea on dry land, but I wasn’t. How amazing would that have been! I wonder if that’s how God is going to get this group of people across the Jordan. I mean if He did it once, He can do it again, right?

I wanted to make sure that my family would be preserved and safe when the time came for them to conquer my city. So I asked them to swear to me by their God that they would spare our lives. “A life for a life.” I promised to keep their secret, their mission under wraps and to preserve their lives, and they would save my family’s lives. I couldn’t ask for more.

It is so scary but also so exciting. I lower the spies outside my window outside the city wall. It’s the same crimson cord I’m to hang in my window to signal the attacking army that my family is to remain unharmed. I told them to head to the hills for three days until the searchers returned to the city, and the spies headed in that direction. I knew I had at least three days before anything would happen. What would I do in those three days that I’m waiting for the inevitable to happen?

None of us wander far from home. We secure what we can to get us through the battle. We draw extra water and store inside the house. We keep the animals close by because at the first sign of attack we are bringing them in the house. I have boards to cover the windows. Grain that has been milled and some that needs to be milled. There were times that my family just sat in the quiet and the dark. I did not entertain any guest or have any company. The door was bolted anytime someone left or re-entered. I can’t help myself. I have to do something. I start sweeping and cleaning. All of my family is with me just waiting. Tick tock. Tick tock. The hours just slowly go by. One of my family members has chewed her fingernails down to the quick. We’re all just waiting. I AM NOT GOOD AT WAITING, and then word comes that the Israelites are on the move. I run to the window to make sure the crimson cord is still prominently displayed. I see them! I see them! They’re coming. Oh my goodness, they’re coming! Bring in the animals. Bolt the doors. Get in your spot by the wall and under the tables.

I see a lot of warriors marching. I’m a little giddy. I’m so excited – a nervous type of excitement. Then what appears to be priests blowing trumpets. Then I see what must be what is called the Ark of the Covenant. Some things you hear about. You never dream that one day you’ll actually see it. How beautiful! And then there’s the rear guard. Well, that was kind of a letdown. They marched around the city once. We waited for them to storm the city walls, but nothing happened. What in the world are they doing? We keep the animals in, and the door bolted just in case, but we can hear people panicking and yelling outside.

Day two and once again in the early morning hours, they are marching and blowing trumpets. For those who are not early morning people, these trumpets fray the nerves. This time while I watch I wonder about Yahweh. I know that He is able to do anything. I’ve heard the stories, but I wonder what it would be like to hear from Him or worship Him with the others. What is He trying to prove with all of this marching?

Day three. I have to tell you things are starting to get ripe up in here. We clean up every day getting rid of waste and all, but there’s no air circulating, and people are starting to smell fragrant much less the animals.

Day four. Is this the day they will do something more than just march? People inside the walls are going mad, crazy. We are sleeping in shifts, sharing beds and taking turns with watches at the window and on the roof. Every time they march by, I’m swinging my crimson cord. I think to myself, “Please see this cord. Please see this cord.”

Day five and day six. I’ve lost any sense of what is going on outside my home. Sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes it’s eerily quiet. And the warriors of Yahweh march. Someone once told me Jericho is only about seven acres with a circumference of 650 yards (1). I wonder if that Ark gets heavy. I wonder how much the Ark of the Covenant weigh. Their march is so precise and exact. It really is very impressive.

Day seven. Up again early and they are marching. Wait. I start to walk away from the window, but I see that they’re marching again! At the third time the noise outside my home has reached a fevered pitch. It’s about to get all sort of real in here. The fourth and fifth times. We all get into our secure places. No one is sleeping. No one is cleaning. I make sure the crimson cord is in place. The sixth time around. Then the seventh is a cacophony of sounds. Trumpets are blowing. People are yelling from outside the walls, from inside the walls, and I think I may have yelled too. A wall to the city collapsed, and the fighting had begun.

When it was over, someone came and pounded on our door. I have to admit I was fearful. Before I opened the door, my stomach was in knots, the men identified themselves as the spies. I was immediately washed in relief and cried tears of joy. My family had been spared.  My joy was short-lived as we carried our things outside the city walls stepping over the corpses of acquaintances and friends, animals and babies. Then we watched the city burn.

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