Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. Joshua 2:15-21 ESV
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. Acts 16:25-34 ESV
Do you ever have a fire drill at your school? It’s really important to know what to do and where to go to be safe if there is a fire. Teachers and other adults in the school have a lot of responsibility to make sure the kids all get out of the building and to a safe place. They have to know which doors to go out of and they have to count all the kids in their classes to make sure everyone got out safely. Kids have a responsibility too. They have to follow the teacher’s directions quickly. If they hear a fire alarm they need to know what is happening and what they need to do. If there is ever a real fire in a school, the fire drills will have prepared everyone to get out of the school safely.
Rahab knew a disaster was coming to her city, and she wanted to be safe. She made the spies promise not to hurt her or her family. The spies told her what she needed to do to be safe. Everyone in her family had to come into her house and stay there. Rahab had to tie a bright scarlet cord in her window so that the Israelites would see it and know to leave that house alone. These two things kept Rahab and her family safe when the Israelites fought a battle with the people of Jericho.
People need a way to be safe from God’s anger and judgment for their sins. Many years later two men of God, Paul and Silas, were in prison. God sent a big earthquake that opened all the prison doors. The earthquake scared the jailer very much. He knew he was a sinner and he was afraid of God’s anger and punishment. He begged Paul and Silas to tell him what he had to do to be saved. Their answer to him was simple. Jesus has done everything so that all people everywhere can be safe from God’s judgment. Believing in Jesus and being baptized made the jailer and his whole family safe, and new people of God. We thank God that in this same gift of faith and baptism, what Jesus did on the cross is also ours.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to save us, and for giving us the gift of faith in him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.