20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
1 Kings 22:20 - 22
ESV - 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. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, 'I will entice him.
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God has two types of will -- decretive (things that He directly orders or causes to happen) and permissive (things that He allows to happen). In the situation cited in the question, Ahab deserved to be punished for reverting back to his sinful actions (despite having been previously spared by God in response to his repentance after having been rebuked by Elijah in the matter concerning Naboth's vineyard (1 Kings 21)). Even after the earlier mercy that God had shown him, Ahab was still consulting heathen prophets, rather than depending on God. The lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets was God's means of judging Ahab (although Ahab -- had he been truly righteous -- could have discerned and resisted that lying spirit). God is sovereign over all spirits -- both good and evil -- but He is not the author of the evil that fallen spirits (or humans) perpetrate. He also controls or limits such evil. (This is illustrated by accounts such as in the book of Job, where Satan could go no farther in afflicting Job than God would allow (Job 1-2).) And He is capable of making all such events -- good or bad -- work together for the temporal and/or eternal benefit of His followers (Romans 8:28). Down to the present day in this fallen world, He still allows even believers to be similarly tempted or afflicted to increase their reliance on Him, and for their own spiritual growth. However, as Paul also noted in 1 Corinthians 10:13, in the case of believers, God will not allow such temptation or affliction to go beyond His knowledge of the limit of their ability to resist, or in a manner from which they cannot escape. (In Paul's case, this affliction was the "thorn in the flesh" to which Paul referred in 2 Corinthians 12:7, which might have turned Paul away from God, but instead caused him to rely on God's promise that "My grace is sufficient for thee.")
A sharp answer to this question is NO! God is not guilty of lying, and God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent (Numbers 23:19). Let's consider the verses carefully. Verse 21 of 1Kings 20 says, "And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him." Emphasis should be placed on 'a spirit'. The Bible didn't say, "the Spirit". Note the capitalization. The former is one of the lesser spirits, a lying spirit from the pit of hell, while the latter is the Spirit of God. Now, let's consider verse 22. "And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so." From the foregoing, the spirit which came before God was a lying spirit. Lying is of the devil, not of God. Jesus said in John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." That God permitted a lying spirit to persuade Ahab does not mean God is guilty of lying. Ahab was the one susceptible to the lying spirit. It's all about choice. A traditional adage says, "If the wall does not open, lizards cannot have access into it." Ahab represents the wall here, while the lying spirit represents lizard. Ahab positioned himself to be influenced by the lying spirit because of his itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3-4). - Sunday Akinrelere.
First of all we need to know who the God of the Bible is. For my understanding I have described this God of the Bible in three threes: 1. God's composition (possibly the word composition may not be appropriate here): God is Spirit, God is Triune, and God is Personality. 2. God's ability: He is all powerful, all knowing and all present. 3. God's character: He is holy, He is love and He is light. Having these things in mind we can, with the support of scripture references like Ex. 4:11; Is. 45:7, safely say that whatever in God's creation happens and is done, happens and is done by God's doing. Even the calamities that befell upon Job were God's doing. See Job 2:3b. Though God takes responsibility for all things, He cannot be condemned or judged guilty. He is the creator of all things, hence He has every right to do whatever He likes to do with His creation. But praise to Him that He acts consistent to His character revealed in the scriptures. So, is God guilty of lying in 1 Kings 22? The place of the incident is the heavenly court. It is revealed by God Himself. No human being could have detected this ever. Hebrews 6:18 concludes that God cannot lie. So we need to prayerfully fathom what God is telling us with this incident having happened in heavenly court. God has every authority to use Satan or Satan's accessories for His purpose as in the cases of Job and Judas Iscariot (Jn. 13:27). We humans are personally held responsible for our doings as in 2 Thes. 2:10-12. When we humans will or desire anything, and that desire or will is consistent with our sinful or holy character, God seals it with His doing. See Pro. 16:1 and compare it with James 1:13-15. That is why through the words of the Wiseman God instructs us to diligently guard our thinking and meditations (Pro. 4:23). That is why the Psalmist has said "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You." (Ps. 119:11).
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