August 8

2 Chronicles 18:19-21 19And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that. 20Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.' "'By what means?' the LORD asked. 21"'I will go 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.'

This passage is troublesome to many. God is not a man that He should lie. What is happening here? Ahab was one of the most wicked kings of Israel. His wife Jezebel was the most wicked queen. Jehoshaphat had become the king of Judah and was his ally. Though Jehoshaphat was a godly king, he must not have had much discernment. Many prophets declared that Ahab would win the battle, but Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from a prophet of Jehovah. When he was called, he first told him to go and win the battle. When Ahab pressed him for the truth, he told what he saw in the halls of heaven, which is today's passage.

God was asking the angels how to get Ahab to go to his doom in a battle against Ramoth-Gilead. The text suggests the angels made suggestions, but all were declined. Finally, one spirit said, "I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets." I believe this was a fallen spirit. They are always seeking to harm mankind. God's hand of protection holds them back unless it serves His ultimate purpose in which he allows them freedom to act. We see the same kind of scenario in the beginning of Job.

Ahab had Jehoshaphat wear royal robes, and he dressed in normal soldier attire. When the Aramean army went after Jehoshaphat's chariot, he fled. A stray arrow found the joint in Ahab's armor and mortally wounded him. You can't get away from the decrees of God. A fallen spirit and a heathen army were used to bring judgment on the murderer, Ahab. Tomorrow we'll see how God dealt with Jehoshaphat for befriending Ahab.

Consider: Be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23).