Why did God bless Rahab when she told a lie? (Joshua 2:4–5) -- 4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.”
Joshua 2:4 - 5
ESV - 4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, "True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5 And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.
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We are intrigued by the fact that Rahab told a lie and God blessed her, but we overlook the fact that she was a prostitute (Joshua 2:1). Rahab lived in Jericho, and by allying herself with God’s people, she was placing her life on the line. If the soldiers would have discovered the spies on the roof of her house, without a doubt she and her household would have been killed. Yes, Rahab was dishonest. She might not have known any better at that point in her life, yet her action came from faith in God (Heb 11:31) and the Lord looked on her sincere heart and blessed her (Acts 17:30).
Without a doubt a person shouldn’t be held responsible for not keeping a lesser law in order to keep a higher obligation. The Bible commands obedience to the government (Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13), but there are many examples of justified civil disobedience when the government attempts to compel unrighteousness or sin (Ex. 5; Dan. 3, 6; Rev. 13). The case of the Hebrew midwives lying to save the lives of the male children is perhaps the clearest example (Exodus1:15–21).
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