Is It OK to Lie to Bring About Good?

Question

Rehab lied when asked if the spies were in her house. Yet she found favor with God. So is it sometimes OK to lie?

Answer

It is never OK to lie. God clearly defined lying as a sin in the fourth of the Ten Commandments.

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16)

Rehab Sinned

The fact that Rahab found favor with God does not in any way minimize her sin or in any way justify it. Some will say that Rahab lied to bring about good, or to prevent evil (the death of the spies), so that makes it OK. What was brought about because of her lie does not, however, change the fact that it was still a lie and lying is a sin.

A Little White Lie

There is no such thing in God’s eyes as a “little white lie.” That is a construct of man to excuse or justify a small, or seemingly harmless lie. (And crossing your fingers behind your back doesn’t make it OK!)

No lie is harmless and every lie is the color of sin…black. Even the “smallest,” the “whitest,” or the “seemingly most harmless,” lies break the heart of the One who is Truth. So how should we understand Rahab’s story?

The Bible Says

The story of Rahab begins when Joshua sent two messengers/spies into the city of Jericho. They were sent to “view the land” prior to the nation moving forward to take the land (Joshua 2). The king of Jericho was informed of the presence of the Israelite men in the house of Rahab and he sent his men to require that she turn them over to him (Josh 2:2-3).

[You can finish reading the rest of this article at Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Click here.]