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 lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ Here we see that the man said that he would resort to lying in order to entice Ahab and God supported the idea and told him to go ahead and do it! – 1 Kings 22:20-22
When we read the above passage, it is quite clear that YHWH asks, ‘who will entice (deceive) Ahab’. These clear words show that even God of the Bible encourages others to lie in order to achieve His goals.
Professor George Alexander Kennedy
…words for eloquence, speaking, and persuading in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, there is no Hebrew transitive verb to express the thought ‘He persuades someone’ in a positive sense. The closest is the verb pata, which carries the connotation of enticement, seduction, and deception. Even the Lord is said to engage occasionally in this kind of rhetoric (1 kings 22:20-22; 2 Chronicles 18:19-21; Ezekiel 14:9). Active persuasion in this sense is generally thought of as negative. 
“…mysteries according to your carnal, foolish understanding. What? When God calls Satan the agent of his vengeance and gives him a public command to deceive, does this differ from mere permission? The voice of God is clear. ‘Who will entice Ahab?’ And there is no obscurity when he commands Satan, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so’ (1 Kings 22:20,22).” 
Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible
Here we have a glimpse of the same divine method of dealing with willful and inveterate sinners that the apostle Paul spoke of, as follows:
“Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved … for this cause, God sendeth them a working of error (strong delusion in the KJV), that they should believe a lie, that they all might be judged who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Many of the comments of scholars on this paragraph are uninformed and inaccurate. “It is hard to suppose that one of the holy angels was a lying spirit.” The text does not say such a thing. It says THE spirit, which is doubtless a reference to one of the seven spirits before the throne of God, proposed, and later became the lying spirit in the false prophets. A little reflection will reveal, that whenever God decides to deceive a wicked, willful and inveterate sinner, he certainly will do so; and this passage tells how it is done. It is accomplished by a lying spirit; but the spirit involved in such an assignment is doing God’s will and is therefore righteous! In many ways, this is similar, and perhaps identical with judicial hardening, a condition which, in one sense, is accomplished by the direct work of God.
In both of these, there are discernible three centers of responsibility: (1) the wicked, unrepentant, enemy of God, who is the subject; (2) the instrument who is a person, or persons, in the willing service of Satan; and (3) God Himself, who wills that the deception be achieved.
In the case of the deception of Ahab, he himself was to blame because he did not love the truth, but hated it, and any prophet who told him the truth. The instrument of his deception was his four hundred false prophets. God had hardened them, and that means that they were incapable of knowing the difference between truth and falsehood. Such hardening is also called “delusion,” “darkening” or “blindness,” which is a condition effected in the mind of the person who has irrevocably rejected God, a punishment effected by God Himself by means of a heavenly spirit sent to accomplish it. “The statement here that the `lying spirit was from the Lord’ fails to satisfy many modern minds, but it is consistent with other Scriptures.” Amen! See Paul’s statement above. Also see 1 Samuel 16:14 which speaks of, “the evil spirit from the Lord” that tormented Saul. “The sending of the evil spirit from the Lord should be regarded as done by the permissive will of God,'” and even then only at a time when the irrevocable nature of the sinner’s rebellion against God is fully revealed. “Ahab had had ample chances to know the truth, first from Elijah, and later from Micaiah.”
John Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible
21. There came forth a spirit In several passages in the OT. infatuation is ascribed to the influence of an evil spirit from the Lord (see Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 19:9), though the personal nature of such a spirit is not generally so clearly implied as here. The lying spirit is regarded as one of God’s ministers, occasioning harm, indeed, but in subordination to the divine purposes: cp. Job 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:11. The doctrine of an evil spirit antagonistic to God is not developed in the OT. 
Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible
22. Go forth, and do so — Thus the Lord actually sends the lying spirit forth to execute a Divine judgement, just as he sent evil spirits to trouble Saul, (1 Samuel 16:14,) and work the destruction of Abimelech. Judges 9:23. Hence it was something more than a bare permission on the part of God. According to the Scriptures, Jehovah often uses the wicked spirits as agents to accomplish certain Divine judgements, and does not merely permit their work as a matter of simple toleration. 
 Comparative Rhetoric: An Historical and Cross-cultural Introduction By George Alexander Kennedy page 136
 The Secret Providence of God By John Calvin, Jean Calvin [Edited by Paul Helm 2010] Page 80
 Coffman’s Commentary on the Bible
 John Dummelow’s Commentary on the Bible
 Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible
Leave a Reply