“That was close”, whispered Rahab. She hurried to where she had hidden the spies “You were lucky! Next time you won’t be if you continue hanging around here”. The tone of her voice made it clear that it was time for them to get out of the city. ”We must move! Let’s get out now. The Lord Yahweh will protect us, and see that we return safely”, replied the taller spy. A thought whizzed through Rahab’s head “He has full confidence in his God, that’s a rare quality for a man”. The Canaanite men she hosted in her abode displayed their devotion to their gods and their families in public, but she knew they were far more passionate about other matters in private. She made a living catering to those passions.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the voice of the shorter spy, “Please direct us to the safest route out of the city”, he asked. “Stay here for a while until night falls. I have a plan to smuggle you out”, she answered. An hour later Rahab peeped through her window and saw a couple of the King’s elite guards patrolling the city. Those guards were only deployed to the streets during times of emergency. Time was running out for her guests. It was just after dusk, the perfect time to get them out before her regular customers started trooping in.
She looked at them. It was time to take a risk. She felt the cold grip of fear and uncertainty wrap its arms around her, but she had already made her decision. Never before in her life had she felt a conviction this strong. “You know the nature of my trade makes me know a lot about what goes on in these lands”, she started. “I’ve heard about your God. The promise that he made to your prophet Moses leaked into these walls. He promised to give this land to your people. Jericho may be a fortress, but a fortress can’t stop a God who caused the Red Sea to part. Sihon and Og were powerful kings. Their guarded gates didn’t stop your people from annihilating their armies. What walls can stop a God who manifests Himself though a pillar of fire at night? Which gates are strong enough to stop the one whom the powerful sorcerer Balaam was afraid to curse? Most Canaanites are in fear, they know you are coming. Some reassure themselves by the thought that stories they’ve heard about you are fairy tales. Fables to cause our hearts to melt in fear for it to be easy to concur us. I know your God is real. I’ve met men who’ve witnessed you exploits. I believe”.
Tension built in the room as she continued, ” I’m going to get you out. But swear by your God that when you come you’ll spare me and my family’s lives. “Our lives for your lives!” The men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly when the Lord gives us the land”.
She took a long scarlet rope and tied one end to window facing outside the city. “This is the plan. You’ll slide down this cord and once you hit the ground, head for the hills. Hide for 3 days to shake off those on your trail”. The tall soldier looked at the chord suspiciously. As if reading his thoughts, Rahab said, “You’ll be just fine. Men heavier than you have slide down this rope. Don’t ask me why that was necessary in their case”. The twinkle in his eye showed that he understood why. “ Ok then. You’ve assured me. You’ve shown us great kindness. We won’t forget you and your family. Just ensure that this scarlet thread is tied to your window when we come, or the oath is off. This rope is the sign we need. We’ll spare everyone found in your house when we take over the city. One more thing, you wanted our real names. I’m Salmon and my friend is Nahashon. With that they slid off.
Rahab sat by the window and looked intently at the spies as they stealthily made for the hills. The knock on her front door irritated her. “I’m not feeling well. I won’t be working today”, she feigned a sick and weak voice. She was not in the mood to entertain. She had already started envisioning her new future. A future where she would be totally transformed. A future not confined by those massive walls.