My Thoughts. . .
My mother and grandmother taught me to always tell the truth. I was told, “That is what God always wants you to do.”
From 1933 until 1945 Germany was controlled by the Nazi Party and their leader, Hitler. Under his leadership some six million Jews were slaughtered. Such action was not considered criminal by German law. Some German Christians hid Jews from Hitler’s Secret Police. They had to lie to the police to keep their unlawful hide-away from being discovered. Was it right for those German citizens to lie? Is lying allowed and not sinful if it protects life? Someone breaks into your home and asks, “Is there anyone else here?” You reply “No.” You are lying. You have hidden the children. You lose your life, but they live because you lied, and they were not discovered. Is there an example in the Bible where a person lied but did not sin? Did they sin by doing so?
In the Old Testament two spies were sent by Joshua to Jericho to collect information. We are told that they “went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab” (Joshua 2:1). Perhaps two men going into a house of prostitution would not attract attention? If so, their maneuver failed. Jericho’s king knew they had arrived in his city. He knew they were Jewish spies. He also knew where they had gone and sent men to arrest them (v. 2, 3). Rahab hid them. When the King’s men asked her about the spies, she lied. They were on the roof. She told the soldiers they had left. When the soldiers departed, the spies decided to spend the night (v. 8). Rahab did lie to those soldiers so the Jews would spare her father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all in her house when they marched against Jericho (vv. 12-14). Is it right to lie when family members are threatened? James informs us that she was “justified” (James 2:25). The Hebrew writer praises her for her “faith” and she is numbered with the faithful (Hebrews 11:31). It would seem despite her lie, she finds her way in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Faith. Scripture is not negative against her due to the lie she told to the King’s men. What is your judgment?
The next time you feel you need to lie about something, you need to ask yourself if you are mimicking Rahab or partnering with the father of lies (John 8:44).