Why Did God Send a Deceiving Spirit? | (un)ANSWERED

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In this episode of (un)ANSWERED Why Did God Send a Deceiving Spirit? Pastor Wade discusses the concept of God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility. If God sent an evil spirit to plague Ahab how could God still be good? What is God's relation to evil and human suffering? Watch now and find out!


We've all experienced the odd occurrence of the Bible, and was left with fringe questions.
Watch and listen, as we leave no question unanswered.
So you're reading your Bible, and you get to 1st Kings 22, and you see God used a deceiving spirit for his purposes, and immediately you're troubled.
Why? How? Am I reading this right? You are, but you may not be considering everything in the context, and all the attributes of God in this.
Let's settle these questions of God's character on this episode of Unanswered.
So the context of 1st Kings 22 is that at this time, the northern kingdom
Israel is separated from the southern kingdom Judah. Israel's king, an intensely wicked man
Ahab, wants to go to war against the Arameans to regain land. Ahab is on good terms with King Jehoshaphat of Judah, a good king, and asks if Judah will align with Israel to go to war against the
Arameans. King Jehoshaphat is ready to assist, but requires that they inquire of the
Lord God by a prophet. All of Ahab's 400 prophets, many of them even of false gods, gave a good report that God would give them the victory.
But King Jehoshaphat is not satisfied and wants to talk to an actual prophet of the
Lord, Yahweh. Ahab hates this man because he thinks Micaiah is always a bearer of bad news.
Reluctantly he agrees, and they locate Micaiah the prophet. Micaiah refuses to answer in a way that the kings want to hear, but will only respond with what the
Lord has told him. He gives them the truth that if they went to war with the Arameans, they would be defeated.
Then we have this moment in verse 17. Micaiah gives a very messianic saying. It says,
I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep which have no shepherd, and the
Lord said, These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.
Jesus even said these words in Matthew chapter 9 and Mark chapter 6, demonstrating he came to be that one
Shepherd and bring his flock together into one. Ahab then speaks to Jehoshaphat, his dissatisfaction of Micaiah.
And so the Lord puts a word into Micaiah's mouth, and we get a glimpse into the throne room of God as the
Lord speaks with spirits, not the traditional Hebrew malak, angel.
Verses 19 through 24 detail this. The Lord requested a spirit to entice
Ahab and deceive his prophets, so that in judgment for all
Ahab's evil he would be defeated and die. Ahab's death was likewise predicted in 1st
Kings 20 and 1st Kings 21, which he does die in the battle at the end of this chapter.
So the question is, how could a good God, the Lord Almighty, use a deceiving spirit, even if for judgment against an evil king?
Does God lie? Okay, some things to consider. First, Micaiah clearly shapes his account of the lying spirit as a denunciation of the 400 false prophets of Ahab.
These are not faithful and sincere prophets of the Lord, but court prophets on the king's payroll who live to please him.
They are in striking contrast to the true prophets of the Lord, especially the ones who had to hide from Ahab in 1st
Kings 18. Israel has no master and no shepherd, and Ahab only has lying prophets.
And so the truth repels Ahab, and he considers it an insult from Micaiah when he hears it.
Second, we cannot call the Lord a liar in the story when he sovereignly determined to share the truth with Ahab and Jehoshaphat before, and this is important, before they go to war by the use of Micaiah.
God desired and willed to share that Ahab's prophets weren't giving the truth, but Ahab let himself be deceived, that's key, despite hearing the truth, and he still went to war.
He should have trusted the true prophet of God and God's Word. Third, as in earlier difficult passages in the former prophets like 1st
Samuel 16, 2nd Samuel 24, this text focuses on God's total sovereignty.
Nothing escapes the Lord's notice, and no one operates outside of the
Lord's jurisdiction. And so Ahab is given the chance by God to respond to a true prophet, but he rejects it, which is very consistent with the way
Ahab has acted before. We have to consider the whole evil and inconsistent ways of Ahab to understand this one story.
In the end, this account shows God is powerful and decrees all things, that truly whether good or bad,
God works through it all. He himself is holy and perfectly righteous and remains spotless from the actions of the deceiving spirits.
James chapter 1 verses 13 through 15 says, He himself does not tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
We must trust further revelation of God as the inspired New Testament writer says,
God is not tempted by evil, nor does he tempt others to evil. That these things are in us, in the evil spirits, demons wanting to do what they already want to do, just like God ordained
Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus to death, which was wicked, but brought about the greatest good.
Jesus calls him the son of perdition, destined before he was even born for this.
1st John chapter 1 verse 5 says, This is the message which we have heard from him and announced to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.
Numbers chapter 23 verse 19 says, God is not like man that he should lie. Hebrews chapter 6 verse 18 says,
It is impossible for God to lie. Psalm chapter 18 verse 30 says,
As for God, his ways are perfect or blameless. This may be a confusing passage, but we can't begin to judge
God or doubt his goodness. God's ways are higher than our ways.
The judge of the earth will always do right. We can't always wrap our minds around these things, but has not
God shown you time and time again in his word and in creation and even in your life how good he is?
God chose to use a lying spirit because Ahab rejected God's rebukes and warnings and all these things throughout his life, and the cup of God's wrath for Ahab was full.
Since God is sovereign over all creation, he is not restricted in what or whom he can use to accomplish his holy purposes.
All of creation is under his authority, and he chooses to use people and spirits, both good and evil, to bring his divine plans to pass and bring glory to himself.
He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand or say to him, what have you done? Daniel chapter 4 verse 35.
In the case of Ahab, God chose to allow a lying spirit to accomplish his perfect and righteous plan.
As Genesis chapter 50 makes clear, what many mean for evil,
God means or wills it for good. The lying spirit will receive its punishment just as Ahab did, and those who repent of their sins will receive forgiveness, just like Ahab could have.
All those who should be saved will be, all those who should be punished will be.