There she stood gazing at the window, not really looking out but just at the frame that made up the hole in the wall where the two men recently descended from her home. Clutching to the line of scarlet cord that one of the men placed in her hands with specific instructions, Rahab finally found what she was looking for, a place to secure the cord in hopes of rescue when the Israelites returned.
In the Book of Joshua chapter 2 we find the story of Rahab and the Israelite spies and this is where we find the most interesting Hebrew word for expect. The word Tiqvah (Strongs 8615 pronounced tik-vaw’) which means something yearned for, to anticipate eagerly, something for which one waits. This word comes from the verb qavah which means to look hopefully in a particular direction. The original meaning was to stretch like a rope.
So here in the story of Rahab we find in her hands a cord of expectation and hope.
Joshua 2:18, 21: “thou shalt bind this line (hope, expectation) of scarlet thread (cord) in the window which you let us down…21:“she bound the scarlet cord (the tiqvah- a line of hope in expectation of salvation) to the window.”
Rahab had already told the spies she knew who the Lord was and what He had done for their people. Now she was tying a scarlet cord to her window waiting and longing for the Lord to send the men to rescue her in His time. She was ready and looking for their rescue of her and her family. Even at the same time, she was longingly and expectantly looking in the direction of the One who would be her real salvation. For I had a feeling she was a little like Psalmist in
Psalm 121:1 “I will lift my eye to the hills where does my help come from? My help comes for the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
Don’t you simply love the symbolism in the Bible? The cord was not only a symbol of her expectation of immediate rescue but also of the rescue from sin by the Savior Jesus Christ.
Maybe you are in a situation where you need refocus and to get to the place of expectation. Maybe you need to find your own tiqvah, a cord to tie with expectation.
Oh my friend, you may feel as though you are surrounded by heart melting circumstances just as the people of Jericho when the Israelites marched across the desert towards them (Joshua 2:11) but when you step out in faith like Rahab and tie on to God’s hope expecting Him in His way you will always find Him faithful.
Father, teach us to attach ourselves to you with a cord of expectation. Let us see your faithfulness even when we have fear surrounding us and we need your rescue.