In today’s Bible reading* Ahab (evil king) and Jehoshaphat (good king) form an alliance. Ahab wants to go to war against Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat agrees to join him in fighting, but he tells Ahab to first ask what God’s will is. All of the prophets told Ahab to go to war. But there was one hold-out who Ahab said always spoke against him. When they consulted Micaiah, he also told Ahab to go to war.
But Micaiah knew that a spirit had volunteered to entice Ahab — by deceiving all of the prophets — to go to war so that his country would be defeated and Ahab would be killed. (1 Kings 22:21-23; 2 Chronicles 18:20-22)
Reading the story and my summary may not set well with you. It challenges our concepts of God and His goodness. I mean, how could a good God approve of deception? And how could God’s prophets all be deceived? Aren’t they prophets and isn’t their qualification as true prophets that everything they say is true? Can’t the prophets know God’s will?
Such is the challenge of discerning the things of God. Sometimes we run into a paradox in our walk with God and in our attempts to grow in intimacy with Him and learning to hear His voice.
Sometimes/oftentimes we’re wrong. Sometimes we don’t hear God’s voice as clearly as we’d like to. It’s important that we always weigh what we hear with God’s revealed Word — the Bible — and consult with wise counselors. In this case, all of the prophets heard wrong because God intended them to hear the wrong word.
It’s in cases like this that we must step back and acknowledge that as much as we think we know God, there is so much more that we don’t know. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
We must approach the things of God with a sense of humility. God alone is sovereign. He alone calls the shots. And in this case, He even used a deceiving spirit to accomplish His purposes to glorify Himself by punishing an evil king.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
1 Kings 22
2 Chronicles 18
2 Chronicles 19
2 Chronicles 20