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Rahab and Situation Ethics 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 4, In the year of our Lord, 2013



  1. What is situation ethics? 
    1. The answer is in the question.
    2. It is the idea that the situation determines the ethics.
      1. Do you see a problem with that view?
      2. What should direct us in our actions?
        1. What Scriptures would you use to support your claim?
        2. 2Ti 3.10–17
  2. Some will counter that the Bible supports situation ethics, and 
    1. Rahab’s dealing with the spies as their proof.
    2. These people will also use other passages, such as Matthew 12.1–8 and others.


  1. What Happened in the Book of Joshua? 
    1. Read Joshua 2.
      1. v. 1 – The spies stayed with Rahab.
      2. v. 3 – The king heard
        1. that Israelites had entered his city,
        2. that they stayed with Rahab, and
        3. so he told her to bring out the men.
      3. vv. 4, 5 – What did Rahab say?
        1. She admitted they came to her.
        2. She denied knowing from where they came.
        3. She claimed they escaped the city already.
        4. She directs the king to pursue the Israelite spies outside of the town.
      4. vv. 8–13 – Of what did her confession consist?
        1. She knew the Lord had given the Land of Canaan to Israel.
        2. She confessed the fear of her people.
        3. She revealed the reasons for their fear:
          1. The Lord dried up the Red Sea for Isarel.
          2. What Israel did to the kings of the Amorites.
        4. She confessed the truth about the God of Israel.
        5. She pled for the lives of her family and of her own life.
      5. vv. 14–21 –
        1. She helped the spies escape and
        2. agreed not to reveal the business of the spies.
    2. Read Joshua 6.15–25.
      1. Why does verse 17 say Joshua told Israel to let Rahab and her family live?
      2. What does verse 22 say the spies were to do?
      3. Why does verse 25 say Israel spared the lives of Rahab and her family?
  2. Does the New Testament Condone Her Lying? 
    1. What about Rahab does Hebrews 11.31 use as an example?
      1. It uses and commends her faith.
      2. Does the passage say anything about her lying? No.
        1. How did she express her faith?
        2. She received the spies with peace.
    2. What does James 2.25 say about Rahab?
      1. She was justified by works.
        1. She had faith, but
        2. she put that faith into action.
      2. How did she show her faith?
        1. She received the messengers.
        2. She sent them out another way.
  3. What Should She Have Done? 
    1. Did Rahab have any other options?
    2. Did she truly lie?
      1. Is misdirection the same as lying?
      2. What about military tactics?
      3. What about a fake in football?
    3. Could God have provided another way for her?
      1. What if she had submitted to whatever the Lord said?
      2. Could not the God who did the very things she confessed, have kept her from sinning?
    4. If she truly lied,
      1. the Bible did not condone it, but
        1. it approved of her faith and
        2. how she expressed it.
      2. Did she, a non-Israelite, have to do everything perfectly
        1. before God could use her?
        2. Look at Peter and his many mistakes, yet, the Lord still used him.
    5. Yes, she stumbled along the way, but
      1. the Bible never approves of that and
      2. it does approve of her effort to do what was right.