Was Rahab’s lie a sin? After all, it saved the lives of the Jewish spies, didn’t it? Plus, she told the spies afterward that she believed in God. So, was her lie part of God’s plan? Is it ok to lie if it helps someone?
I am reminded we are reading the account after the fact. The Bible tells us what happened as a result of choices the people made. It is what it is. So if you are asking if Rahab’s lie was overlooked by God, caused by God, or if God condoned her sin because the end justifies the means the answer is…
Rahab’s lie was a sin. What it did was diminish God’s power to save. If she had told the truth, we would be reading a different account of how God worked to bring the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Who knows what amazing miracle we would be reading about had Rahab (and the spies) trusted God in that moment. And, as I think about that this morning, I wonder…
Rahab’s family was saved. But had she let God do His thing instead of taking matters into her own hands, would other citizens of Jericho been saved, too? We will never know this side of heaven.
There is no such thing as a little white lie. If it isn’t the truth, there is no third option. If it isn’t the truth, it’s a lie. No matter how you justify that lie in your mind.
Thankfully, God does not place immediate judgment on us when we sin. There wouldn’t be anyone still living on earth if He did. Rahab believed in God. She will be saved from the destruction of Jericho, and later she’ll be listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. But Rahab would have to deal with her sin of lying, because that sin sent Jesus to the cross.
So, who gets hurt when we sin? First of all we do, if we don’t repent of it. And maybe more importantly, Jesus does. As someone who has received His grace and mercy, that is something I never want to do. I don’t want my choices to ever cause Him pain.
The next time you are tempted to lie, consider your trust in God. Why do you feel the need to lie? Do you not think God can handle the situation? And if you lie, are you preventing God from doing a work in the people who hear you?
What can it hurt? A lot, I think.