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1 Kings 22:19-28

19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 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.’

23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

So God sends a spirit enticing Ahab in order to attack Ramoth Gilead. If I may dare ask, why does God feel the need to send a deceiving spirit? Would this not go against the Commandments God has given? And why was such a spirit even within the close proximity in the presence of the Lord in the first place? I wish to know how to reconciling this text with others.

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3 Answers 3

Regarding your question, if it is a matter of deceit or not - consider the original context.

First you should read the whole chapter: 1 Kings 22

The subject has to do with truth, amazingly.

13 The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, Behold now, the prophets unanimously declare good to the king. Let your answer, I pray you, be like theirs, and say what is good.

14 But Micaiah said, As the Lord lives, I will speak what the Lord says to me.

The king demands to hear the truth.

16 And the king said to him, How many times must I charge you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?

So the prophet tells the truth.

Then there is the part you mention where God asks "who will go fool Ahab" and a spirit says "I'll be a deceptive spirit in his prophets..." and that is agreed upon.

And thus the prophet summarizes:

23 So the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets; and the Lord has spoken evil concerning you.

Notice too - what God said was distinctly different than what the lying spirit said.

So you can see that although there was indeed deception, God revealed the truth (he cannot lie, and he is the "revealer of secrets") but as usual Ahab follows his own self-convenient thinking and heart as many do.

This is similar to what is said here:

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

If a prophet arises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,

2 And the sign or the wonder he foretells to you comes to pass, and if he says, Let us go after other gods—gods you have not known—and let us serve them,

3 You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being.

Again - with the fore-knowledge of such things, you actually have the truth of the matter ahead of time so the seeming deception is irrelevant - unless one's lying heart wishes to believe it. God has not lied. (Romans 3:4)


Similar passages: 2 Samuel 15:31

31 David was told, Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom. David said, O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.

Job 5:13

13 He catches the [so-called] wise in their own trickiness, and the counsel of the schemers is brought to a quick end.

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  1. God wraps himself in darkness. Hebrews 12;29 Our God is a consuming fire. Leviticus 16;2 And the LORD said to Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 2. Spirit enticing Ahab. Ezekiel 18;21-23 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statues, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him; in his righteouness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the LORD God: and not that he should return from his ways and live? God allows man free will. 2 Thessalonians 2;11-12 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteouness. Proverbs 1;24-31 Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: they would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. Psalms 33;13-15 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
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The deceitful spirit sent by God. God wraps himself in darkness.

Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud (1 Kings 8:12, 2 Chronicles 6:1)

So God sends a spirit enticing Ahab in order to attack Ramoth Gilead. God has also sent Satan.

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:12)

If I may dare ask, why does God feel the need to send a deceiving spirit? Notice the deceiving spirit asked. (Ref: 1 Kings 22:21). You must also understand a spirit is a personality. So he has given the prophets a desire to lie. We are faced with temptations to prove to God that we are true.

Would this not go against the Commandments God has given? No.

And why was such a spirit even within the close proximity in the presence of the Lord in the first place? Notice God invited the answer. (Ref: 1 Kings 22:20)

I wish to know how to reconciling this text with others. Hope the others are soon reconciled.

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