1 Kings 22:19 - 23
ESV - 19 And Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the Lord : I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, 'Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another.
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God used a lying spirit to deceive Ahab because Ahab refused to heed to the prompting of God. He put his trust in men, rather than God. Since he did not retain God in his knowledge, God gave him over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting. The attributes displayed by Ahab can be found in ROMANS 1 :28-32. In addition to this, we read in 2 Thessalonians 2 :10 that God allowed Ahab and others like him to be deceived because they rejected the truth that can save them. God therefore sent them strong delusion in order to believe lie. This is for the destruction of Ahab and the likes because of having pleasure in unrighteousness. This is the addition I want to make. May God bless His Word (Amen).
God used a lying spirit because he knew that Ahab will believe the lie rather than the truth. 1Kings 22:17-18, And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. This prophecy was rejected by Ahab who rather chose to believe the lying spirit.
YHWH gave mankind free will. Ahab is given a choice. If he has wisdom and prayer, he will not be deceived. If he chooses to use prophets, because he lacks discernment, or is lazy, to guide him - then he is doomed. See how Christ, in his perfect agony, seeks The Father "Thy will be done" rather than the council of men. All have the opportunity to so turn. Ahab is the victim of his own evil. He is separated from The Father by his hubris and willfulness. Yet he is provided with one last chance! Thy mercies are infinite.
Actually Ahab has ALREADY CHOSEN not to believe the truth. Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?" (1 Kings 22:18). He already knew what the prophet had told him, and would told be telling him. This is a very important lesson for us today and has lots of applications. Sometimes we already decided on a matter, and we know we are not right before God. Instead of repenting, we try to find ways to justify, including try to find verses or sermons that seem to justify our thinking and want to think it the way we wanted, when we know deep in our spirit it is not right. Example, you may fall for a girl. You know she is not with the LORD and you know she is going to lead you astray from God. You know she keeps telling you not to go church. But she is pretty and you are attracted to her. So you start to read verses that say about salvation and one day she will be saved. You start to keep using verses to cover the voice that warns you to let her go. In similar fashion, you are also using God's words (like the king seeking the counsel of his prophets) but he only want to hear what he really wanted to hear. We need to be very careful ourselves! This is dangerous because we are opening up ourselves to lying spirit!
The higher Christian standard of always telling the truth or being silent was not part of the Mosaic Law. This is why there is a clear distinction between God and Satan, truth and lies, in Christianity, that is not found in any other religion. For us, lies never originate from God. Mosaic Law forbade giving false witness against your neighbor (the ninth commandment), but not lying to save your life, for example, as David did when he pretended to be insane in front of a Philistine king (1 Sam 21:10-15). If lies are permitted to save life in Judaism, then possibly they can also be permitted to kill those who, like Ahab, were already condemned to death by God (1 Kings 20:42). God used a lying spirit under the Mosaic Covenant because it was permitted, and because it was the most efficient way to entice Ahab to his death at Ramoth-Gilead. Otherwise, there could have been complicating circumstances resulting in the death or disadvantage of many more Israelites than those lost with Ahab in that battle, if Ahab's reign hadn't been shortened. God had had enough of Ahab's misrule. The Old Testament and the Law serves us as divine preparation for the higher revelation of Christ coming in the fullness of time - not as approved examples of how Christians and God would or should behave in the same circumstances, but under the Christian Covenant.
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