Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 10: Year 2
“But the woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, ‘True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they came from. And when it was time to close the gate at dark, the men went out. Where the men went I do not know. Pursue them quickly, for you can overtake them.’ She had, however, brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax that she had laid out on the roof.” (Joshua 2: 4 – 6)
Is it ever ok to lie? As I study our ancient writings, I have to say, yes! And it is not just in this case. In chapter 27 of Genesis, Jacob, (who later became Israel), was blessed based on a lie! Jacob, participating with his mother Rebecca, fooled Isaac with a lie into believing that Jacob was Esau, who was technically the first-born son. Therefore, the name of Israel came to be based on a lie that God was aware of. This was a lie that God sanctioned.
It seems that God reads the human heart. If the heart is good and loving, God will pardon a multitude of sins. So I ponder about the six social laws of our ten commandments. The first four are about honoring God; have no other God, don’t use God’s Name in vain, make no image of God and remember the Sabbath. The last six however have to do with how we relate with one another. Of these last six, along with lies, which, if not all, can be sanctioned by God when necessary?
Does the war in Ukraine warrant killing in self-defense? I think it does and there are plenty of stories in scripture where God approved of wars. It seems that God reads the human heart. If the heart is good and loving, God will pardon a multitude of sins, if they are sins at all.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John