I had a another question concerning scripture that I wanted to get your point of view on. What is your take on these two scriptures? 1 Kings 22:17-23 (NIV)  Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, `These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’ ”  The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”  Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.  And the Lord said, `Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that.  Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, `I will entice him.’  ” `By what means?’ the Lord asked. ” `I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” `You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. `Go and do it.’  “So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
2 Chronicles 18:18-22 (NIV)  Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing on his right and on his left.  And the Lord said, `Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that.  Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, `I will entice him.’ ” `By what means?’ the Lord asked.  ” `I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” `You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. `Go and do it.’  “So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
Can’t find much out there about those…even in many of the bible commentaries. Thanks a lot!
I assume that your question is about the statement that “the Lord put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours.” This biblical statement certainly raises questions. Why would God cause someone to lie if God himself cannot lie and, in fact, Satan is “the author of lies.” This seems to put the character of God into question.
To answer this question, I would draw your attention to chapter 1 of the book of Job. In the scene in heaven, God allows Satan to tempt Job by inflicting suffering on him. We see that God gives Satan some freedom of will to do evil and to tempt mankind. Apparently, like human beings, Satan and his demons were given freedom of will, chose to rebel and became evil. God does not cause evil but, in his sovereign will, he allows free moral agents who choose to rebel to do evil and to suffer the consequences for such rebellion.
A second passage which is relevant is 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12. In this extended passage we learn that God allows evil people who reject the gospel to work all kinds of false miracles. In fact, for those who willfully reject the truth, he allows them to be overcome by a “powerful delusion.” This, like the passages in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, can be troubling. The way I understand these passages is that if we choose blatant rebellion and to love a lie, then God will allow us to be completely immersed in the lie and the consequences of that lie, in the hope that we will finally reach “rock bottom,” and come to our senses. Like Paul said in 1 Cor 5, the one who is disfellowshipped should be “handed over to Satan.” This is not an act of evil, but an act of love. We can reach the point where the only hope for us is to receive the negative consequences of our evil, rebellion behavior, in the hope that we will come to our senses. This is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel Ch. 4).
About the passages in 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chron 18, this is how I view them. It is not that literally God causes a lying spirit to be in the mouths of the prophets, but that he, in his sovereign will, allows them to be tempted and give in to a lying spirit. God allows this to happen in the hopes that when the situation for those who listen to the lies goes from bad to worse, he hopes that the people will come to their senses and realize the foolishness of their rebellion. In any case, the hope and desire of God is obviously that his people repent and return to them so that they can be restored to a relationship with him and so that he can bless them. The simple fact is that sometimes when God cannot discipline us because of our stubborn hearts, he allows “the world” to discipline us. To be specific, in 1 Kings 22 because of Ahab’s evil heart, God chose to discipline them for their stubbornness and their idolatry. Similar to Job 1, he allowed Satan freedom to tempt Ahab in the hope that, when disaster came on Israel, they might repent and return to him.