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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is it ok to lie?

I think this is an interesting topic. Of course I could state the obvious "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16) or "Do not lie." (Leviticus 19:11) or "Do not lie to each other" (Colossians 3:9) But I think there's more to it.

Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites
Exodus 1:8-12

The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah "When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live." The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?" The midwives answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive." So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Exodus 1:15-21

In this example of, God blessing the Hebrew midwives for lying.

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come."
Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
John 7:1-10

In this example, Jesus lies. And Jesus is perfect...right?

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, "Do not let anyone know about this conversation, or you may die. If the officials hear that I talked with you, and they come to you and say, 'Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; do not hide it from us or we will kill you,' then tell them, 'I was pleading with the king not to send me back to Jonathan's house to die there.'"
All the officials did come to Jeremiah and question him, and he told them everything the king had ordered him to say. So they said no more to him, for no one had heard his conversation with the king.
Jeremiah 38:24-27

Jeremiah, God's prophet, lies.

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. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them." (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)

Joshua 2:4-6

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
James 2:25

Rahab is honored for her lying. 

But then there is this:

...all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
Revelation 21:8

Does that mean Jesus has a place in hell? And the midwives that God blessed?
In the case of the midwives, it was lie or kill babies.
In the case of Rahab, it was lie or let the spies be killed.
In the case of Jeremiah, it was lie or maybe be killed.
In the case of Jesus it was lie or be...truthful

Jesus doesn't even have a life on the line. He could go like this:

I'm gonna go to the feast, but in secret. Just don't say anything."
Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

 I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.

I looked into things, and according to the footnotes in my bible, "Some early manuscripts do not have yet."
And removing the 'yet' makes it so that Jesus could be talking about how it's not time for his death yet. But,, at the same time, removing the yet means that Jesus says 'I'm not going.' instead of 'I'm not going right now.'

I think the lying is more of your motive. When Rahab was faced with lie or let the spies be killed, she chose lie. And that was a noble choice.
When the midwives were faced with lie or let the male babies be killed, they chose lie. And that was a noble choice.
The times when God blesses sin is when it's sin V.S. sin and the choice is the more honorable sin. So I don't want what you take away from this post to be lying is ok. Because most of the time, it isn't.
-Ruth

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