Too Close for Comfort

2 Chronicles 18:18-22 “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left. The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’…And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and…said, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘How?’ He said, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.’ Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these, your prophets, for the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.”

Observation:  Wow! If this passage doesn’t stand soft theology about God on its head, nothing will! God and His angels—not Satan and his fallen angels, but God Himself—plotted deception against evil King Ahab, and assigned one of His angels to “be” a deceiving spirit. Just when I think I have God all figured out, whitewashed into a namby-pamby general source of “goodness” in the world, along comes a passage like this! The message is, “Ahab, God sees who you really are, and He’s ticked!”

Application: An interesting sidebar to this story is Jehoshaphat, the good king of Judah, who had made an unwise alliance with evil king Ahab. That alliance is nearly Jehoshaphat’s undoing. Jehoshaphat was discerning enough to realize that the 400 prophets on Ahab’s payroll were just telling Ahab what they thought Ahab wanted to hear, so they sent for Micaiah, the sole prophet whom everyone trusted to speak the true word of the Lord. 

Micaiah gave the game away. He perfectly foretold the defeat and death of Ahab. But after hearing Micaiah’s word and knowing that the coming battle was God’s plan for killing Ahab, still Jehoshaphat went into battle alongside Ahab. What he was thinking? 

See where wrong alliances lead? See what happens when I sell out to the world, when my heart pursues things above God? I can get sucked inexorably into destruction God has carefully crafted. And how effective do I think I will be, praying against a spirit of deception, when that spirit was designed and assigned by God Himself? That’s why I am told to flee evil! Run away! Separate myself from the world and its systems, lest the explosion intended to defeat Ahab take me out too!

Prayer: Father, forgive my fleshly pursuits. Forgive me, Lord, for every instance in which I have sought pleasure and satisfaction and fulfillment in other than You. Forgive me for those times when I have walked too close for comfort along the edges of sin, trusting, hoping, that I wouldn’t fall in. Cause my identity to be only in You, Lord, hidden in the loving arms of Your dear Son.

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