2 Chronicles 18:19-21—And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 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.
This passage is troublesome to many. God is not a man that He should lie. What is happening here? Ahab was one of the wickedest kings of Israel. His wife, Jezebel, was the wickedest 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, 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 angel said, “I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.” I believe this was a fallen angel. 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 the freedom to act. We see the same kind of scenario at the beginning of Job. Ahab had Jehoshaphat wear royal robes while 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 angel 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.