Another verse I don’t understand: the Lying Spirit

Day three: Music to My Ears

“So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all your prophets. For the Lord has pronounced your doom.”
1 Kings 22:23


I don’t know what to do with this verse. It’s bothered me for 20+ years.

God sent someone to lie?

Some say that God merely allowed Satan to trick Ahab. That sounds like a bunch of theological gymnastics to me. Because that’s not what the passage says. It says that God initiated this task. Every translation I’ve looked at says that God “put” the lying spirit on their mouths. It sure looks like the Lord was active in sending someone to deceive.

Of course, I don’t like this one bit. This text certainly makes me uncomfortable. But I can’t try to force this Scripture to say something it isn’t saying simply because what it’s saying makes me struggle a little bit. Maybe I have to allow myself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable here. I’ve been living with the tension created by this verse for the last 20+ years. Maybe I need to be willing to just live with that tension. After all, God is much bigger than I am.

Can you help me out? Is there a way you have been able to resolve the tension this verse causes? I’d love to hear it.

PS: Ahab was a scumbag. “The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle” (1 Kings 22:30). That is all.

About mattdantodd

Howdy! I'm Matt. My wife and I have three kids, a dog, and a guinea pig. We adopted our youngest daughter is from Ethiopia. We're definitely not opposed to adopting again. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces and the Indiana Hoosiers. What else do you need to know? You're welcome to... Follow me on twitter at @mattdantodd Like my Facebook page Subscribe to my YouTube channel
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