Did God ignore the lie of Rahab?

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The story of the lie of Rahab is found in Joshua 2. Rahab, a harlot in Jericho, received and concealed the two Israelite spies. And when the king of Jericho asked Rahab for the spies’ whereabouts, she had to choose between her country and her conscience. But with whatever light she did have she made the dangerous decision to cast her lot with God’s people. She displayed great faith and courage when she risked her own life to save God’s people.

When the king’s servants asked Rahab about the spies, she said a series of lies in order to save their lives. Is this justifiable? Rahab was faced with what seemed to her a choice between a greater and a lesser evil: to share in the responsibility of the death of two men whom she believed to be messengers of God, or to tell a lie and save them. To a Christian a lie can never be justified, but to a person like Rahab with a pagan background, the light of the truth came gradually.

God winked at Rahab’s ignorance because she simply didn’t have the full light. She grew in a pagan country with very limited knowledge of our righteous God.  But God looks on the heart.  And the Bible says in Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” In the past ages of the world there had been a “passing over” of people’s sins in that full judgement had not fallen upon sinners. This was due to the long suffering of God (Romans 3:25). In His great mercy, He offered forgiveness to men, on condition of repentance.

God holds us accountable for willful sins “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). To sin willfully means to continue to sin willfully (v. 29). The sin does not refer to a single acts of sin committed in the full knowledge of their evil nature, but to the attitude of mind that prevails when a person deliberately rejects God. It is premeditated apostasy, and leads to the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31, 32).

Rahab ultimately repented.  And she married Salmon and the two of them had a boy named Boaz who was the father of Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of King David. And she became one of the great great great great grandmothers of Jesus. Because of her genuine repentance and risking her life to defend God’s people, she was granted the honor of becoming a progenitor of Christ  (Matthew 1:5).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

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