Q. I’ve been wondering about this for a while now – is there a difference between directly lying to someone and tricking them? There must be, because didn’t God essentially trick Satan when Jesus was crucified? Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the situation.
On a similar note, would “covering up evidence” be a form of lying, as well? For example, deleting one’s history on an internet browser.
A. In a sense God did trick Satan by withholding information about the real effect of the crucifixion. 1 Cor. 2:8 tells us that if Satan had known this he’d never have let the Lord be crucified. It can be compared to keeping your battle plans secret so the enemy who has sworn to defeat you won’t be able to anticipate your actions and head them off.
I don’t think you can equate deleting personal history information, which has the effect of intentionally misleading everyone, with the Lord keeping His battle plans secret. The reason is that it could cause friend and enemy alike to make incorrect and possibly harmful assessments. People normally don’t withhold positive information about themselves, so the likely intent is to present themselves in a more favorable light than they deserve. It’s a misrepresentation by omission, and therefore a lie.