So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, 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. – Joshua 2:17-18
The scarlet thread represented the channel or instrument for the escape of the two spies from capture in Jericho, and later the escape from death by Rahab and her family. This is an encouraging word: God has a scarlet line for all of us. Before we get into that in detail, though, what are the things that entrap us?
Things that entrap
- Sin is one thing that ensnares us and opens us up for the devil to ensnare. Heb 12:16 refers to Esau’s sin of sexual immorality for which he despised his birthright for a meal’s sake.
- More powerful people entrap the weak, as Egypt did to Israel, for which God sent Moses to set them free – Exo 3:1-9. Also, Sennacherib laid siege against Israel in Isa 36 and 37. God sent an angel to kill all his soldiers and they were set free (Isa 37:36).
- Disobedience, knowing what God says and doing something else, is another entrapment – Heb 4:1-11. They heard what God said but disobeyed it and so they perished.
- Ignorance is a trapper. God said His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge – Hos 4:6. Hence we need to get knowledge and understanding (Pro 4:5-7).
- Fear entraps. Pro 29:25 says the fear of man entraps. Gen 20:11 – Abraham said his wife was his sister because he was afraid they would kill him. It was the same fear of man that made Saul to disobey God by listening to the people – 1Sam 15:14-25.
God’s Ways of Escape for Us
- God has provided His Son as atonement for sin, to restore us back as though we never sinned. Jesus has paid for the sins of the whole world (1Jn 2:2), and if we accept Him, He is able to save us to the uttermost (1Jn 4:14; Heb 7:25-26).
- God sends angels to us. Heb 1:14 says they are ministering spirits sent to us. Daniel said God sent His angel to shut the mouth of the lions (Dan 6:22). Sennacherib’s army was wiped out by an angel (Isa 37:36). God will give his angels charge over you to protect you (Psa 91:11).
- God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psa 119:105). David said, “Your word I have kept in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psa 119:11). When we spend time reading, meditating and doing what the word of God says, we become evergreen (Psa 1:1-3).
- Prayer is how we allow God into our affairs. One who refuses to pray is saying, “God, I don’t need you. I can handle it on my own.” But when we pray, we see God doing exceedingly, abundantly, above what we can think (Eph 3:2).
In reflecting over this text, we can see that as far as God is concerned, there is no case beyond redemption. No matter how bleak things may seem, God has a way of escape for us. As His children, He has put things in place for us to bring us out.