The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the truth telling violations presented in the Abraham and Rehab Bible stories. Both stories are indicative of deception that demonstrate how if people are placed in a position of uncertainty can lose their faith in performing a moral obligation which is telling the truth regardless of the situation. Extreme circumstances can hinder the decision making process and can lead to deception. The ideology of truth telling is the mere fact that God teaches us that deception is wrong and as individuals refraining from violating truth telling is God’s will.
In the bible, Exodus talks about the ten special rules, which are known as the Ten Commandments. Since this reflection is speaking about lies and deceit, I would like to point out the commandment that speaks on this reflection and that is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. ” This is one of those commandments where God established guidelines for interacting with other people. It is to help us understand that our actions should be motivated by love.
Jesus said the entire Law of Moses, as well as the books of the prophets could be summed up in two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind,” and “Love others a s much as you love yourself”(Matthew 22:37-40). Everything we do should be motivated by love. As humans, we are instinctively self-centered. No time in life is the more obvious, especially when moral and character development cannot be left open to discovery learning; it should already be embedded as powerful attributes. I always pray and let the Holy Spirit lead me in everything I say and do.
I appreciate the commandments God has given us but also the blessings that I reap as a benefit of adhering to them. As I speak about Abram’s lies, first I must say that Abram followed God by being obedient. Following God is a wonderful adventure. Life as a Christian is full of blessing and often surprises. Abram was 75 years old and the Lord spoke things to him, in fact, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. Abram was told from the reading to leave his country, family, relatives and go to the land that I will show you. Abram and his wife Sarai packed up everything they had and left their home.
Abram had a lot of things to take with him because he was very rich. He had lots of cattle, silver and gold. It was a big job to move, but Abram wanted to obey God. He trusted God would take care of him. God told Abram that he will bless him and make his descendants into a great nation. God also told Abram that he would become famous and be a blessing to others. He also told him that I will bless anyone that blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you (Genesis 12:1-3). Where Abram was living when God spoke to him was a wicked place. God told him to leave and he did.
As an old man with no children of his own, Abram believed that somehow God would do what he promised. Abram left everyone and everything that was familiar to him and headed for Canaan. This step of obedience took a tremendous amount of trust on the part of Abram. Obviously, throughout his long life he had learned to take God at his word. God proved himself to Abram and his wife in many ways throughout the remainder of their years. I believe God was establishing Abram as the person through whom he would birth a nation and ultimately bring blessing to the world.
Unlike Abram today, we have the advantages of God’s promises written in his word. We also have proof of his faithfulness throughout history. One thing for sure is that God never lies. We can trust him always, and sometimes we do not understand and sometimes God ask us to do difficult thing, but God always keeps his promises. As a Christian, I am always building my character and discovering that god wants me to reflect his heart by keeping my promise. Years had passed since God led Abram and his family out of Ur. God had been faithful to Abram and Sarai, but they still did not have a child.
Initially, Abram assumed God would keep his promises through a servant. When Sarai grew tired of waiting and assumed that she was too old to bear children, she allowed Abram to father a son name Ishmael with the maidservant Hagar. This indeed was not the song through which God’s promise would come. God appeared to Abram reminding him that he would be the father of many nations and therefore renamed him Abraham. God also renamed Sarai to Sarah meaning princess and that she would be the mother of many nations. God kept reminding Abraham that his promises would be fulfilled through another son.
While Abraham was sitting at his tent one day, three visitors from God appeared. Sarah prepared a meal and as they were eating, one of the men told Abraham he would have a son the next year. Sarah heard them and laughed at the thought of bearing a child at the age of 90; however, God was faithful. Sarah gave birth to Isaac the next year. When Abraham journeyed to Negeb, it is in fact he fabricated about his wife Sarah to Abimelech, King of Gerar by telling him that Sarah was his sister. As a result of the fabrication, the king of Gerar took Sarah into his harem.
God is so powerful that he came to Abimelech in a dream and said stop. God informed Abimelech that he would die if the woman he has taken under his arms and made his own. God spoke to him that she is already taken by another man. Abimelech was in awe because he was told that Sarah was Abraham’s sister. In fact, Sarah corroborated the same thing by saying Abraham was her brother. Abimelech was going based on what was conveyed to him. Abimelech’s character was in question, but he was being honest and sincere and innocent about the entire situation.
God spared Abimelech’s life by speaking to him through a dream so that he would not sin against him. God informed the king to restore Abraham back to his wife Sarah because he indeed is a prophet. God told the king that if he did not pray for restoration that he would surely die. Because Abimelech wanted to obey God the father, he rose very early the next morning and called his servants and shared what had transpired and his servants were filled with respect, but also afraid of what was going to happen. Abimelech called Abraham and asked him what have you done to us and why did you.
He said you have brought great sin to me and my servants. The king wanted to know from Abraham what did we do for you to justifiably fabricate such a thing that would have caused me to sin against God. Abraham’s justification was fear. He thought he the servants would kill him because of his wife Sarah. Because Abimelech wanted to obey God, he gave Abraham the sheep and oxen and male and female slaves to Abraham and restored him to his wife Sarah. Because Abimelech knew God would be pleased with him, he told Abraham to dwell wherever he wanted to.
The king also spoke to Sarah and told her I compensate you and vindicate you for what has happened and therefore you are cleared of any wrong doing on your husband’s behalf. Because Abimelech was being obedient to God, God allowed him and his wife to bare children. The Lord has healed hurt wombs as a result of Abraham and Sarah’s sins to the king and his wife. Abraham’s lies were wrong and unethical. Abraham should have kept his faith and trusted God to the process. We must allow the Holy Spirit to communicate to us that God always keeps his promises, even when we feel like we do not want to wait.
When God has spoken something to us in is word, we can know that it is true, even when it takes a long time to be realized in our lives. Abraham also allowed another person, King Abimelech to sin against God. When other people sin against God they too are punished, but thank God the Holy Spirit came to King Abimelech to inform him of the lies that were told by another man. Father God spared Abimelech his life because he instructed him to do something and he obeyed. Father God is always happy when we do what he orders us to do. Rahab deception was praised because she was led by the Holy Spirit and she knew God had sent the two scouts there to search out the country.
When the pursuers knew they were there, Rahab knew that if they were caught they would be persecuted, so she hid them on top of the roof. When the pursuers asked Rahab about the men, she fabricated about who they were because she knew they were there on assignment by God. Once the men were cleared to come down from the top and go in the house, Rahab made a commitment to them. She wanted the two men to swear using the Lord’s name. The two men made a commitment to Rahab that once they are given the land, they would be kind and faithful.
The two men said they would be blameless and cleared of any wrong doing if she breeched why they were there. Rahab did not want to deceive God so she protected the men on assignment. As individuals, once we do what we are instructed to do by God, he will protect us, regardless of what we may be up against. As a health professional, I can glean from the examples is to follow your heart. ” Corporations and individual should respect this principle in their strategic management and day-to-day operations for reasons of corporate (enlightened) and self-interest as it relates to ethical principles “(Cragg,2012).
When we are held accountable for our actions relative to lies and deception, not only does it hurt the individual that has to be discipline, but other people are hurt too. It is always a good practice to do what’s right because if not, surely God is watching and he punishes us when we step out of his will. It is an everyday ritual of mines to seek God and let the Holy Spirit lead me so that I will not violate any ethics God has set before me. I am constantly monitoring what I say and do because I know God is watching me.
It always feels good when you know you have made a right decision, even if it costs you friends. We know God will bless us beyond measure as long as we do his work his way and work his plan for our lives. The bible teaches us despite the circumstances that deception is not moral behavior and we must consider ethical behavior as we process decisions. Values are how we as individuals process and apply rules for the betterment of our lives and others. Values are our ability to project the right and wrong of a situation and apply self-worth to the decision that we make.
An important lesson in both stories is regardless of the situation and the reason for deceiving others is wrong. Often our understanding of what is at stake is sometimes construed by what we consider as reward due to our deception. Most people that engage in lying tend to do so for selfish reason that are not considered sincere. According to Hodgon, “ Sincerity is a virtue and yet lies both great and trivial are sometimes in the best interest of the liar or even the party to whom they are addressed. ( Hodgson, 1967).