Slightly Obsessed #175 "The Scarlet Thread" by Pamela Thorson on 2017-03-01 09:14:15
“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” - Hebrews 9:14
The two spies lay hidden in the darkness as the king’s men searched for them in the night. Word of their presence in the city had reached the king of Jericho, and soon his men were at the door. The prostitute who lived there saved the men’s lives, but not before securing a promise from them to spare her and her family when they returned with Israel’s army to conquer the city.
Before being lowered out of her window to safety, the men gave her a piece of scarlet cord. They instructed her to gather her family together in the house on the day of their return and hang the scarlet cord in the same window. Since her house sat on the wall of the city, the cord would be seen and her house spared. Rahab’s faith saved her entire family from destruction by God on the day that the city fell.
The scarlet cord seems like such a small detail in that account of the fall of Jericho, yet it depicts a theme woven throughout the Scriptures.
In Leviticus 14:4-6, the ceremonial cleansing of a person healed of leprosy included dipping a scarlet thread and cedar and hyssop seven times in the blood of a sacrificial bird and sprinkling it on him. A live bird was also dipped in the blood and released, symbolizing the person’s release from bondage to uncleanness. This person was now free to worship and fellowship with others, a beautiful symbol of our release from sin.
Moses and Aaron were commanded to burn cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet material along with the red heifer to produce the ashes needed for Israel’s purification from sin, as outlined in Numbers 19:1-9.
We know that the blood of animals and red thread can never make us clean from our sins. But these Old Testament symbols spoke of the greater sacrifice that was to come. Genesis 38:27-30 relates the account of the twins that were born to Judah by his daughter-in- law, Tamar. Because birthright belonged to the firstborn, a scarlet thread was tied on the arm of the infant Zerah as he began to emerge from the womb. But he withdrew his arm and the other son emerged first. This son was named Perez, or “breach,” because his birth had caused a division between the two of them.
Jesus was a descendant of Perez. At Jesus’ first coming, He was declared the Son of God. Zerah, the other son, lost his birthright. Israel, like all mankind, had lost its birthright by sin. They compounded the breach by rejecting their Savior. But Israel wears the scarlet thread of salvation, and one day they will accept their Messiah, Jesus Christ. Zerah means “dawning” or “brightness.” At the birth of John the Baptist, his father Zacharias prophesied about him and the One before whom he came:
“To give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the Dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” - Luke 1:77-79 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
In the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the non-Jew, too, as adopted children of God, have seen a new dawn and will shine in the kingdom of our Lord. (Matthew 13:58)
In the poetic verse of Song of Solomon 4:3, the bridegroom tells his bride “Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely.” If the scarlet thread is symbolic of redemption, this verse speaks to the beauty in God’s eyes of those who proclaim His salvation and testify to His redemption in their lives.
“And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!” - Romans 10:15 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #192: Heaven Is Calling: Consider Jesus
Some days we can barely hear it. Other days it drives us to our knees. But it’s always there; that persistent tug in our souls. Whether we trudge through our days or chase the stars of fame and fortune, we can’t drown out the cry that sounds silently in the pit of our being, jarring us with its urgency and moving us with its tears.
No matter what you may be going through in life, I want you to know that God's grace is sufficient for you. You may have messed up, you may have failed, you may have gone the wrong direction, you may have gossiped, or much worse, but God wants you to know that it does not define who you are. He does. He and His grace is much more powerful than anything you might have said or done. Grace always shocks. It always amazes, and it always stuns. Grace is what we all need. It's what everyone groping around lost in the darkness needs to know.
Slightly Obsessed #191: You Can Give Others the Gift of Courage
My father lay propped up in the hospital bed, his face ashen against the white sheets. My step-mother and I huddled around him in the cramped space of the progressive care unit in which he was recuperating. He had suffered three heart attacks in the space of one month. None of us had gotten much sleep in the last few days. So far, we had seen little of either the hospitalist in charge of his care or the cardiologist on staff.
Slightly Obsessed #190: A Warbird’s Lesson
On a recent hot July day, we took in an air show in our town. Vintage planes, including a couple of impressive old warbirds, sat majestically on the tarmac for inspection as we darted from wing to wing to find relief from the withering heat.
These planes are still operable, so although some of them were open for people to walk through, the cockpits were off-limits for obvious reasons. No one wanted a tragedy to happen because an unauthorized person tampered with the controls. People who don’t know what they’re doing shouldn’t be in control.
Slightly Obsessed #189: The Calling
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Release Date: July 28, 2017 Reviewer: Andrew Funderburk Rating: 4 stars
MUSIC VIDEO NF - Outro
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