Did the Lord send an angel to deceive the prophets to have the king killed? 1 Kings 22


#1

My friend just brought this up, and nobody could come up with an explanation, and even google came up dry. Can anybody give a good explanation for this passage?

The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17 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.’”

18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

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!”

[LIST]
]Why did God ask these "spirits" (angels?) what to do?
*]Why was God okay with the spirit's suggestion to deceive the prophets?
*]More importantly, why did God then *command
the spirit to deceive the prophets? I thought God is truth?
[/LIST]

I'm sure there is a lot to this that I'm missing, because it makes no sense at face value.

Thanks!


#2

[quote="smp501, post:1, topic:321940"]
My friend just brought this up, and nobody could come up with an explanation, and even google came up dry. Can anybody give a good explanation for this passage?

[LIST]
]Why did God ask these "spirits" (angels?) what to do?
*]Why was God okay with the spirit's suggestion to deceive the prophets?
*]More importantly, why did God then *command
the spirit to deceive the prophets? I thought God is truth?
[/LIST]

I'm sure there is a lot to this that I'm missing, because it makes no sense at face value.

Thanks!

[/quote]

From what I've read, Ancient Hebrew thought looked at things only in terms of primary causality. If something happened, it was God's will. For example, in Exodus, we read about "God hardening Pharaoh's heart", even thought God clearly cannot cause anyone to sin.

Today, we think in terms of both primary and secondary causality - if God creates person X, and person X sins, then we rightly attribute moral responsibility to X; it is not God's "fault" that X used his free will to sin. In the Pharaoh example, "hardening" does not mean that God made Pharaoh sin; rather, it means that God, knowing what was in his heart, allowed him to use his free will to sin, as part of His greater plan to free the Israelites.

Something much like this is happening here. The "spirits" are probably demons, or fallen angels. The false prophets have been trafficking with them and coming up with false prophecies. God allows the demons to deceive the false prophets, and allows the false prophets to make false prophecies, because they both have free will. This is, of course, part of a larger plan that includes not only the punishment of the king, but - in a small and crucial way - the eventual plan of salvation of the Israelites. God "commanding" them is just a primary-causality way of expressing this: He didn't say "Go and lie!", but "You are free to lie, I permit it because I have foreseen it, and know what I am doing, unlike you."


#3

The spirits said "I will do ----" are demons. Everything is filtered through Gods hands. Nothing happened to Job that wasn't allowed by God. Satan stood before Gods throne and had to ask permission for everything he did to Job.

God said "who will deceive?" And after the demons vied for the job he said "go then and do it".

It appears to me that God was okay with it because the king was not a Godly man. We must remember God's best for Israel was for them not to have a king, but he gave them what they begged for over and over again.


#4

[quote="smp501, post:1, topic:321940"]
My friend just brought this up, and nobody could come up with an explanation, and even google came up dry. Can anybody give a good explanation for this passage?

[LIST]
]Why did God ask these "spirits" (angels?) what to do?
*]Why was God okay with the spirit's suggestion to deceive the prophets?
*]More importantly, why did God then *command
the spirit to deceive the prophets? I thought God is truth?
[/LIST]

I'm sure there is a lot to this that I'm missing, because it makes no sense at face value.

Thanks!

[/quote]

Um for the same reason God sent a flood upon the earth to destroy all life. Because judgement had fallen upon these men.

However I would remind you of 2Timothy 3:13 13 "while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."

The king had heard the word of the true prophet many times and instead chose to be deceived, and so when God finally rejected him and condemned him to death he used the same deception that the king so loved to do it.

However that the king chose to listen to lying spirit is entirely on the fault of the king. You must always remember that when the Bible speaks like this it does so about men. And we, all of us, are fallen and have hearts that are desperate wicked and deceitful, so then those who are destroyed by the LORD in this manner would have done no differently had God not acted as he did.

Pharaoh already had a hard heart. Ahab was already a deceitful king who had cast off the covenant and burned his children to Molech.

So God did him not a jot of injustice, but rather perfect justice. Which is why we all must cling to the mercy of Christ lest God's perfect justice fall on us all.

God Bless


#5

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