Question: Concerning your mention of Rahab in the March 1995 TBC, where in Scripture does it actually come out and say Rahab lied and “was commended for telling a lie”? To lie is a sin!
Answer: Rahab did lie to save the spies’ lives. When the king of Jericho asked her to “Bring forth the men that are come to thee” (Jos:2:3), she told him that “about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, the men went out: whither the men went I wot [know] not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them” (v 5). In fact, she had hidden the men on “the roof of the house...with the stalks of flax” (v 6), then let them down over the wall later for their escape. The preservation of Rahab and her family was contingent upon her continuing the deception in any further questioning by the king. That arrangement was made between Rahab and the spies by mutual oath in the name of the Lord (v 12). Hebrews:11:31 is clear: “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Receiving the spies “with peace” surely necessitated lying about their whereabouts to the king.
The Bible has other similar examples. Pharaoh commanded the killing of all male babies born to Jews, but the Hebrew “midwives feared God, and...saved the men children alive” (Ex 1:15-17) and lied to the king (vv 18-19). Their lie is told and the next verse says, “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives” (vv 20-21). God himself told the prophet Samuel to lie about his mission to Bethlehem (1 Sm 16:2); Jonathan lied to save David’s life (1 Sm 20:27-29); and David himself told Hushai the lie to tell to Absalom in order to protect David and his men (2 Sm 15:34).