Rahab lied to protect the two spies sent from Israel. Jehu set up a scheme to trick the prophets of Baal to come worship their false god and Jehu had them all killed. King David pretended to be insane in the presence of an enemy king to keep from being killed. All of these and more got away with their devious actions. In fact, they received safety, protection and advantage through their deceitfulness.
Gehazi lies and gets leprosy. Ananias and Sapphira lie and get zapped.
I am confused and want more of an answer than, “God’s ways are higher than our ways.” God’s ways are higher, but it does not explain the blatant differences. God did not have a bad day and decided to really give it to people and others days He was in a better mood and ignored their sinful actions. It certainly is not a matter of the ends justifying the means. It is not consistent to allow evil to accomplish a greater good.
The best explanation I have read comes from an article titled, “The Bible is Not Full of Contradictions or Errors” from the website pleaseconvinceme.com. Here is a portion of the article:
“Just Because the Bible Describes Something, It Doesn’t Mean that God Approves It!”
Sometimes critics of the Bible (or critics of Christianity in general) point to an evil or corrupt situation described in the Bible and argue that God (or Christianity) approves of the situation or is the source of the evil. This is not always the case. Remember that just because a Biblical writer writes about something, this does not mean that God condones it or supports it. A condition that is described in the lives of Biblical characters isn’t always a condition that God would want for those same Biblical characters!
The Example of Polygamy in the Bible
There are certainly a number of Old Testament characters who were married to more than one wife at a time. These characters were described in the scriptures and many of them seem to have been blessed by God! David and Solomon both had large harems, and were often blessed by God in one way or another. Do these examples of polygamy on the part of revered patriarchs indicate that God accepts or endorses the behavior? No, you’ve got to remember that the fact that something is described in the Bible (even without open condemnation) does not mean that it is endorsed by God. You’ve got to do enough reading to understand the true desire of God on any particular issue. The Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman, ( as seen in Genesis 2:24). But men quickly perverted the concept of marriage to allow for multiple wives (by the time of Genesis 4:19). And while the Bible does not specifically condemn the practice of polygamy until the New Testament (see 1 Timothy 3:2), that doesn’t mean that God approved of polygamy before this time! God said early in the Old Testament that kings were not supposed to take multiple wives (take a look at Deuteronomy 17:14-20) and these kings were to be the example for other believers as well (see 1 Timothy 3:2 & 12, and Titus 3:12). From the very beginning, anyone who had more than one wife was in sin and was living in opposition to God’s will. If you take a close look at the lives of David and Solomon, you will see that their sin of polygamy did not come without a price. Look at what happened to Solomon:
1 Kings 11:3-4
He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God…
Just because something is described in the Scriptures, don’t be fooled into thinking that God endorses it. Even when the scriptures seem silent on an issue, a careful reading will reveal the nature of sin and the heart of God.
That helps settle some of the issues for me.
How about you?