Consider how Abraham twice--twice!-- passes off his wife Sarah as his sister. He first does this with Pharaoh, and is reward handsomely for the deception (Genesis 12.16): "Pharaoh treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels."
Later on Abraham does the same with Abimelek and, once again, makes out like a bandit (Genesis 20.14-15): "Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelek said, 'My land is before you; live wherever you like.'"
Protestants tend to moralize these passages, arguing that Abraham's deception is sinful. But the text suggests quite the opposite. Abraham is handsomely rewarded for his trickery in both cases.
Why might that be?
Here's my best guess. In both cases Abraham is the weaker player. In both cases Abraham is fearful for his life:
Pharaoh / Genesis 12.12I'd suggest that Abraham's trickery is rewarded in the story because trickery is one of the few weapons the powerless possess in the face of the powerful. Deception and subterfuge are often the only weapons available to the oppressed and marginalized. Consequently, in Genesis we often see deception and subterfuge rewarded when used by the weaker against the stronger. Deception is found to be virtuous in the story when it is used to interrupt the powerful.
"When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me..."
Abimelek / Genesis 20.11
Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.'"
Consider also, as other examples, Jacob's trickery of Esau and Tamar's trickery of Judah. In these cases we also see the weaker--the second born, a woman--overcome the stronger--the first born, a male patriarch--with trickery. And in both cases the trickery is rewarded. As it was with Abraham.
In short, the Sunday School moralization of trickery and deception in Genesis (e.g., Abraham should not have told a lie) misses the commentary about power relations running through the narrative.
(Incidentally, I would expect that there is a scholarly literature about the trickster theme in Genesis, but I've not taken the time to search it out. These are just observations off the top of my head as I was recently reading through the Abraham narratives. Observations like, "Hey, look how Abraham keeps getting rich by lying about his wife!")