Is it ever OK to lie? Is deception ever approved by God? Before you answer these questions, remember the story of Rahab and you might answer differently. Rahab hid the 2 Israelite spies in her Jericho home. She became a believer and committed herself to God and His people. When her townsmen looked for the spies, she lied about where they were and hid them. Then she helped them safely escape. And God repeatedly uses her as an example of faith (Heb 11:31, James 2:25). Is God approving of lying? Doe He believe that the end justifies the means?
First, remember that Rahab was caught in the middle of a war. It was a war between God (Israel) and Satan (Canaanite nations). Rahab switched sides and joined God’s side, thus becoming a traitor to her home town and people. She had a new loyalty to God and His people, and with it an obligation to help them in their battle against their enemies. Deception is a part of war. Spies aren’t expected to tell the truth. If so, how do we justify smuggling Bibles into a country where they are forbidden? Are we required in the name of ‘honestly’ to reveal the location of our children to someone who has broken into our home with the intent of killing them? Was Corrie Ten Boom guilty of sin by hiding Jews from the Nazi’s in WW II? When the Egyptian midwives refused to obey Pharaoh and kill the Jewish baby boys they lied and said the babies were born before they got there – and God blessed and rewarded them for their commitment to His cause.
Rahab was guilty of treason against her country, but not of lying in God’s sight – for that is how wars are carried out and we must be as wise of wolves but as innocent as doves. Rahab was the one who was right, it was the rest of her countrymen who were wrong. They were in rebellion and sin and she doesn’t have to support them and help them in it. I don’t think she was aware of all that. I think she just found herself in a satiation where a choice was to be made and she made it. She didn’t consider all the moral implications, she just used common sense and did what was obvious to her – help her new friends and also her true God.
So i it ever OK to lie? Is deception ever approved by God? Be careful how you answer. Don’t be so quick to judge others who see things like Bible smuggling differently than you do. Clearly there is no one way for all believers in this. Also make sure you don’t use Rahab to justify self-serving lies that are given for personal convenience. Make sure your total faith is in God and your commitment is to do whatever He wants, like Rahab – then He’ll show you how to handle the situation.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)