2 Chronicles 18


#1

The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you, he does not prophesy good about me, but only evil?” 18 Micaiah continued: “Therefore hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord seated on his throne, with the whole host of heaven standing to his right and to his left. 19 The Lord asked: Who will deceive Ahab, king of Israel, so that he will go up and fall on Ramoth-gilead? And one said this, another that, 20 until this spirit came forth and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked: How? 21 He answered, ‘I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord replied: You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go forth and do this. 22 So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours; but the Lord himself has decreed evil against you.”

In this verse it speaks of the lord asking some one to lie and kill this bad king that has been very stubborn and evil. What i am wondering is why does the lord say he wants someone to lie to the king and kill them for him. I can understand kill, but why lie? It is kind of indirectly bad, why would god do this. Why would he lie indirectly… I hope i am not reading it incorrectly :frowning:


#2

I do not know how to help you understand the scripture you quoted, but if it is causing you distress about what you think God has said, then It may be caused by your reading it incorrectly.

God is infinitely perfect, and all that He does and allows is for our benefit.


#3

Here is what’s going on…

Israel had split into two nations. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin formed the nation of Judah to the south while the ten northern tribes formed the nation of Israel to the north. The nation of Israel was apostate. They abandoned temple worship, set up two golden calves to worship and became pagan.

Jehoshaphat was king of Judah while Ahab was king of apostate Israel. Ahab was a bad dude…

And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD more than all that were before him. And Ahab made an Ashe’rah. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. (1 Kings 16:30-33)

Ahab was the king of Israel during the time of the prophet Elijah. Things were so bad in Israel that God sent three years of drought and famine against Ahab and many of Elijah’s harsh words were against Ahab.

In the narrative thread in 2 Chronicles 18, Jehoshaphat and Ahab had formed an alliance to go to war. Ahab had 400 prophets who falsely claimed to speak for God and so God sent a lying spirit into their mouths to deceive Ahab into thinking the war would be successful. Ahab would actually lose the war and die in battle.

The prophet Micai’ah told this to king Ahab. Micai’ah basically told Ahab that his 400 prophets were liars. Ahab and his people were not happy with Micaiah and one of Ahab’s prophets actually punched Micaiah in the face.

If you read all of Kings and Chronicles you will see how bad of a guy Ahab was. He stole land from his people, murdered his own citizens and worshiped pagan gods while giving lip service to the God of Abraham. He was so bad that the phrase “walk in the way of the house of Ahab” was used to describe the behavior of evil people. God tried to get him to repent by sending Elijah the prophet and other prophets but he only got worse, listening to his own lying prophets. God finally got rid of him by having his prophets lie to him so that he would fall in battle.

-Tim-


#4

This book was written, and Micaiah’s prophecy was made, when Israel and Judah hadn’t yet been informed by God about Satan and his rebellion. God was still trying hard to get them to realize there was only one God, and that you couldn’t make alliances with false gods and expect results. (So obviously, it wasn’t the time to inform them that there was another team, even if it was a comparatively weak team.)

So this is basically the same scenario as in Job, which was written when people understood only a little about Satan, and the rebellion part hadn’t been revealed yet.

God is reigning, and He removes His protective power and allows Satan to mess with somebody. In this case, it is as a punishment to Ahaz, rather than as a test that ends up glorifying Job’s righteousness and frustrating Satan.

(And if Ahaz had had any sense, he would have repented when Micaiah warned him, or the five thousand times he’d been warned before that.)

Pagan prophets and false prophets had pretty well signed themselves over to the demonic powers anyway, so letting a lying spirit possess them was just letting them have what they had been asking for. (What’s amazing is how much of the time God protects us from what our behavior has been asking for.)


#5

Requoting this though i know the whole story, but why would god ask directly ’ who will lie to ahab and basically kill him ’ I mean i would understand if a spirit asked god but why did god ask a spirit to pretty much fool him and kill him. I love god with all my heart, but why did he ask someone to lie for him, it just seems like something god would not do…


#6

Mintanka’s post is relevant.

God spoke with Satan in the Book of Job and allowed Satan to torment Job. The “Lying spirit” in 1 Chronicles 18 is not from God because God doesn’t lie. The lying spirit is from the devil, or is the devil. God allowed it. The same is true of the evil spirit which comes upon Saul.

I think you are reading it too literally as well. Prophets were extremely flamboyant and spoke in metaphors.

-Tim-


#7

Well i know the spirit was from the devil, but did god ask the evil spirit to lie and kill the evil king

Or did the evil spirit ask god.

I dont see why god would ask, i would imagine the evil spirit would ask.


#8

The prophet is not giving a nightly news report on the conversation between God and the lying spirit. Prophets use metaphor, allegory and storytelling to communicate to man the ideas which God wants them to know.

The prophet said that God was on his throne. Was this a literal throne? We may never know but what the prophet is trying to say is that God is an absolute ruler. Whether God was physically seated on a fancy chair isn’t the point.

Whether the whole host of heaven was literally to his right and left isn’t the point. The point is that God has control over everything and spirits - demons or otherwise - do nothing without his approval.

Was there an actual conversation between God and the lying spirit? Did God actually request that a volunteer to lie to Ahab? Did the lying spirit step forward to volunteer? Did God approve? These are not the point. The point is that lying spirit is not God and Ahab’s prophets don’t speak for God.

The overall point is that God permitted Ahab’s behavior and his false prophets out of patience, warning Ahab over and over, and now his patience had run out.

It isn’t a newspaper story or a documentary account. Prophecy is highly symbolic and we can’t read it like a play by play commentary.

-Tim-


#9

Precisely.

Prophets use metaphor, allegory and storytelling to communicate to man the ideas which God wants them to know.

Not really. God uses these, and the prophets merely convey the message as God’s given it to them.

Was there an actual conversation between God and the lying spirit? Did God actually request that a volunteer to lie to Ahab? Did the lying spirit step forward to volunteer? Did God approve? These are not the point.

Actually, it’s precisely the point.

In that time, people believed that God directly caused everything – a rainstorm, a famine, a splinter in one’s hand. All directly and intentionally caused by God. (After all, in their minds, if something occurred that God hadn’t caused, then it would imply that He was all-powerful.)

So, if prophets tell lies, then there needs to be an explanation that doesn’t imply that God isn’t in control. Therefore, the explanation that God provides, such that they’ll understand, is that He caused the prophets to prophesy incorrectly.

In other words, it’s not about God acting in ways that are un-God-like; it’s simply that this is an explanation that will make sense to the people who are hearing it. The explanation is this: the prophets aren’t accurately prophesying what will happen; only Micaiah is speaking a word from God.

No demons; no loosing Satan on prophets.


#10

I still don’t understand this it doesn’t add up…


#11

Reading more deeply into the bible has helped me see how there are many things that make you wonder if the descriptions of God line up with what we are told his attributes are.
Interesting thread.
Many more just like this in the making.


#12

Hmm… is there a particular question you want to ask? It’s difficult to respond to “it doesn’t add up” without just repeating myself.

That being said, though:

The situation was that there were 400 prophets saying “go into battle! God says you will win!” and one prophet saying “nope; God says that if you go into battle, Israel will be destroyed.”

Obviously, that would lead to confusion – which one should be believed? So, the ‘true’ prophet passed along an explanation from God that would be something that the people would understand: God allowed a spirit to ‘lie’, so that the 400 prophets and the king of Israel would be deceived. But, God’s intent was to tell the truth through His prophet, who was warning the kings that Israel would be destroyed in battle.

Does that help?


#13

I never said i was doubting.


#14

The Lord asked: Who will deceive Ahab, king of Israel, so that he will go up and fall on Ramoth-gilead? And one said this, another that, 20 until this spirit came forth and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked: How? 21 He answered, ‘I will go forth and become a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord replied: You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go forth and do this. 22 So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours; but the Lord himself has decreed evil against you.”

God was asking though. It says so in written word.


#15

No… the vision that God gave Micaiah included this event. It was meant as the way to explain to the people why 400 prophets were wrong and Micaiah’s prophecy was right.

Remember how, in a couple of places, Paul writes to Christians that they must be fed milk while they’re still unready to have solid food? This vision is ‘milk’. :wink:


#16

The Lord asked: Who will deceive Ahab, king of Israel, so that he will go up and fall on Ramoth-gilead?

Really the only thing that confuses me is why god would ask this, that an evil spirit would decieve someone for him…That is the only reason why i posted this thread really is to ask why would god say this…


#17

It’s actually a good thing to be confused. Every single scientist has been and will be all their lives. It means you are asking questions.
Asking questions leads to discovery.


#18

God allows us to be tempted so that we can grow in His grace when we resist the temptation with our free will. God “uses” the evil spirits by permitting them to influence circumstances in order to bring about a greater good.

I don’t know if that helped much, but it is my understanding. I can only look at the infinite love of God, who sent Jesus for us, and trust His Word.


#19

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