21- Question 3

Let’s read 2 Chronicles 18:20-22, “Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.”  This is not a simple portion and has caused many to wonder about how the Lord, who cannot lie, could send someone else to lie for Him.

Let’s first consider King Ahab.  He was a wicked king and it was obvious by the context of the chapter that he had no interest in what the Lord had to say to him.  He wanted to hear good news.  Ahab, the king of Israel met with Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah.  He asked Jehoshaphat to go with him into battle against Ramothgilead.  Jehoshaphat urged Ahab to seek the Lord’s council before going ahead with his plans.  Verse 4 says, “And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.”  Ahab gathered together 400 of his prophets and asked them if he would be successful in battle against Ramothgilead.  All 400 of these so-called prophets were in agreement, saying what Ahab wanted them to say.  Jehoshaphat was not satisfied with the word of these 400 men and asked if there was another prophet to advise him.

2 Chronicles 18:7 says, “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”  Micaiah was a true prophet, but Ahab hated him because he did not tell him what he wanted to hear.  Because of Jehoshaphat, Ahab sent for Micaiah.  The messenger that went to Micaiah encouraged him to go along with what all the other prophets had said.  Micaiah’s response, in verse 13 was, “…As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.”  However, at first Micaiah acted like he was in agreement with the other prophets.  Ahab realized he was not being serious and told him to speak the truth.  Micaiah then spoke to Ahab as the Lord had directed him.  Verse 16 says, “Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.”  He told of the destruction of Israel if they went up against Ramothgilead.  Ahab complained to Jehoshaphat that he knew that Micaiah would not have a good word for him.

Micaiah then explained to Ahab, how that because of his refusal to hear the truth, the Lord had allowed evil spirits to fill the false prophets with false information.  In this, Micaiah not only warned Ahab against going into battle, but also spoke to him of the danger and folly of listening to those who only told him what he wanted to hear.

Allowing this evil spirit to lie to Ahab was not the first time the Lord used evil to serve His purpose.  Let’s read Job 1:12, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”  Here, the Lord allowed the evil one himself, Satan, to do what he would to Job.  Of course this was under the Lord’s control and limitations.  All this was done to prove Job’s faithfulness.

In a coming day, the Lord will use evil once again to serve His purpose.  Soon, the Lord Jesus Christ will come in the clouds to take His bride home to glory.  We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”  What a glorious day that will be.  However, there will be many left behind because they refused to believe the truth of the Gospel.  We read of that day in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 which says, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  The Lord will allow Satan to tell a great lie, and because of unbelief, the Lord will cause people to believe that lie.

God cannot lie, as we read in Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”  However Satan is a liar and the father of lies as we read in John 8:44, “…He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  The Lord, in His divine sovereignty, may use this liar to serve His own glorious purpose as He chooses.  (21.3)