Today I read two passages. The first one suggested was Joshua, chapter 2, which was the story of Rahab hiding the spies in Jericho. Rahab was a common prostitute in Jericho, and the people of Jericho were very afraid of the Israelites. When Rahab was confronted by the people of Jericho to help them find the men, she told them they were gone, and hid them on her roof. When she went to get the two spies out of hiding, they made a bargain with her, that she would be saved from the coming destruction to Jericho. A common prostitute. And because she believed them, and believed that God would save her, she was given a second chance at life, and even became a descendant to King David, and subsequently Christ.
In order to live and be spared, Rahab needed to hang a scarlet rope from her window. We can also hang a red rope from our windows. If we accept God's forgiveness for our sins, and apply the blood that Christ shed, we too will be saved from God's coming judgement on our sin. And God will be true to his promise to save us, just as Rahab was saved from death.
The second passage I read today was 2 Samuel 16. This was a lesson in being spared from the consequences of sin. In Numbers 32:23 God says "You may be sure that your sin will find you out." There are so many examples of this in the Bible, but today I read how this applies to King David. King David thought that he could cover up his sin with Bathsheba. David committed adultery against his wife by sleeping with Bathsheba. God did not let David get away with it though, and David confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness. While he did receive forgiveness, it did not change his actions. He was sorry about the whole thing, but being sorry would not bring back Bathsheba's husband Uriah from the dead, and it would not heal Bathsheba's broken heart at the loss of her husband either. God can forgive, but often there are still consequences. Being sorry and forgiven for murder doesn't bring someone back form the grave. One by one, Things went wrong in David's life that could very well have been a reflection from his sinning.
When we've brought trouble to ourselves from our own bad choices, there is a way out. We can confess our sins to God, and he will give us our way out. Our God is a God of forgiveness and reconciliation, and he promises redemption and restoration from any who seek him. I love reading John 8. At the very beginning of the chapter, a woman is being accused of committing adultery, and the people want to stone her. Jesus showed mercy and asked "let those who have never sinned cast the first stones". And then told her "go and sin no more." Go and sin no more is where our new life begins. No matter how badly we fail in our quest to please God, Jesus Christ will always give us the help we need to go and sin no more. It is through him that we can hang our our own red rope and receive God's mercy and forgiveness.