Is God Ok With Lying Under Certain Circumstances?

Is God ok with lying if that lie will protect someone? For example, in Joshua 2 Rahab hides the Israelite spies and lies to the city guards that they left Jericho. Then, in Hebrews 11, Rahab is listed in the famous “Hall of Faith”. Was God ok with her lying since it protected the Israelite spies and helped Israel take Jericho? Should she have told the city guards in Jericho the truth?

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@Shimmy This question brought to mind the story I have often heard Ravi tell of his friend Hien Pham (full story at link below):

“The day came when, through an equally providential set of circumstances, Hien was released from prison. He promptly began to make plans to leave the country and to construct a boat for the escape of him and fifty-three others. All was going according to plan until days before their departure. Four Vietcong knocked on Hien’s door and said they had heard of his escape. He denied it and they left. Hien felt relieved, but at the same time disappointed with himself. He made a promise to God—fervently hoping that God would not take him up on it—that if the Vietcong returned, he would tell them the truth. He was thoroughly shaken when only a few hours before they were to set sail, the four men returned. When questioned again, Hien confessed the truth. To Hien’s astonishment, the men leaned forward and in hushed tones, asked if they could go with him!”

I think the Biblical stories of Shiphrah / Puah / Rahab and that of Hien are alike in that they were all acting in faith and trust in God. John Piper’s summary below is helpful because it does not saying it is ‘right to lie’, but rather that a heart of faith in such dire circumstances is the main thing.

“There are worthy and godly saints who in their struggle with evil have felt constrained to lie to oppose life threatening wickedness and they were not condemned for it” - John Piper

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Hi @Shimmy

I hope this finds you well!

I am part of the Ask Away Production team and I just wanted to let you know that your question was answered on the podcast a few weeks ago. Please check it out here: Is God Ever Ok with Lying?

We are grateful for you, and hope this is an encouragement to you.

Thank you for being a part of the Ask Away podcast!