The Whole House

She sat up, covered in sweat, and with her heart thumping in her chest.  It was the same dream every night that week.  And once again, she recalled every vivid detail – two men with fire in their eyes, strangers entering her city, blood flowing in the streets, and the ground shaking under her feet while she ran and ran and ran.  She knew there would be no getting back to sleep, so she got up, dressed, and got ready for her day.

She hated her life at the tavern, but it paid the bills. Her place was popular with the locals and it had been a very busy day.  Closing up for the night, she noticed two men lingering in the shadows.  What were they doing there she wondered?  They didn’t look like locals, yet there was something about them. She recognized them.  One look in their eyes and she knew.  They were the men from her dreams, the ones with fire in their eyes.

She had heard stories of these people since she was a child.  Fathers, grandfathers and uncles whispered about them as they sat around the fires at night.  Tales of blood in the river, fire that walked as if on two feet, smoke filled valleys, ghost stories and tales of snakes, frogs, and magic potions, mixed with fable and truth.  Everyone heard them and trembled.  They feared that someday those nightmares would come to them, and they were afraid.   Somehow, deep in her heart, she also knew they were coming.  She didn’t know when; she didn’t know how, but she knew they were coming.  Now, just one look in the stranger’s eyes, and she knew.  It had begun.

She quickly closed her door and shuttered her windows.  She didn’t want to risk anyone noticing the two hiding in her shadows.  Cautiously, she approached them.  Yes, she knew these men from her dreams, but before she could speak, she heard soldiers tramping up her steps.

What had started out as a simple brief tour of the city quickly escalated into a manhunt for the two strangers.  The authorities had been alerted, and now they were pounding on her door.   Looking at the two men, she whispered, “Run quickly up to my roof.  I have grain laid out to dry under the sun.  Cover yourselves with it while I answer the door.”

Armed men rushed past her when she unbarred her door.  “Where are they?”  They demanded.  “We know they came here.  Your neighbors, as well as your clients, have reported that they saw strangers here.”

“Yes, it’s true.  I had strangers here.  They ate over there, at that table, but as the sun began to set, they paid their bill and left the city.  They were in a hurry and didn’t want to be locked in after the gates were closed.  It wasn’t that long ago.  Perhaps, if you hurry, you will catch them.”

As soon as they left, she secured her door and tiptoed up to her roof.

With her voice barely above a whisper, she asked them why they were in the city.   “Has it begun?” she asked.

It didn’t take long for the two strangers to realize that Rahab was their friend.  She would not turn them in to the local authorities.  Not only that, but she believed in their God.  She told them how everyone had heard about the powers of The Almighty and recounted the stories she had heard as a child.  She finished with, “protect me and my family when you return.”

It only seemed right to the young men.  After all she had saved their lives.  So they made a plan.  She would help them escape from her window by a red cord and the same cord would be the sign to the returning army that she and her whole family staying there were to be saved.

Judges 2:12-14

Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”  And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”

This was redemption at one of its finest hours.  The two young men made it clear to Rahab, “Only those inside her house would be rescued and allowed to live.”  If we see the red cord hanging from your window, you, dear lady, will receive household salvation!”  And they did!

In Acts 16, we see the story of Paul and Silas in prison.  God shook the earth and the whole prison rocked from its foundations.  The doors flew open and chains fell to the ground.  The jailer, fearful of reprisals should any prisoner escape, drew his sword intending to kill himself when Paul called out, “Don’t be afraid.  Put your sword away.  We are all here.”

The jailer, overwhelmed with emotion, cried out, “What must I do to be saved?”

Paul’s response?  “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you, along with your whole family, will be saved.”

So often we become so caught up with the issues in our family and the day-to-day pressures that we forget the covenant promises, that God will give us household salvation.  And while it is true, each person must accept the gift of new life for themselves, we must stand on the promises that God’s desire is for our whole family to be saved.  We need to speak the words of blessing and pray in faith, believing that God will reward us with this wonderful gift.

Make a list of your loved ones.  Write their names in your Bible and in the pages of your journal – add them to your church prayer lists.  Pray for godly friends and situations to speak to your loved ones.  Pray, pray, and pray again.  Stand on this promise and believe.  There is no heart too hard, no drug addict too broken, no loss too far gone.   This is redemptions’ finest hour!

Acts 16:30-34

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.