Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’ “There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’
“‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked. “And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’ “‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’”
(1 Kings 22:19-22)
The vision Micaiah saw was either a picture of a real incident in heaven, or a parable of what was happening on earth, illustrating that the seductive influence of the false prophets would be part of God’s judgment upon Ahab (1 Kings 22:23). Whether or not God sent an angel in disguise, he used the system of false prophets to snare Ahab in his sin. The lying spirit (1 Kings 22:22) symbolized the way of life for these prophets, who told the king only what he wanted to hear.
Does God entice people to do evil? To understand evil one must first understand God. (1) God himself is good (Psalm 11:7). (2) God created a good world that fell because of man’s sin (Romans 5:12). (3) Someday God will re-create the world, and it will be good again (Revelation 21:1). (4) God is stronger than evil (Matthew 13:41-43; Revelation 19:11-21). (5) God allows evil, and thus he has control over it. God did not create evil, and he offers help to those who wish to overcome it (Romans 12:21). (6) God uses everything—both good and evil—for his good purposes (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).
The Bible shows us a God who hates all evil and will one day do away with it completely and forever (Revelation 20:10-15). God does not entice anyone to become evil. Those committed to evil, however, may be used by God to sin even more in order to hurry their deserved judgment (Exodus 11:10).
We don’t need to understand every detail of how God works in order to have perfect confidence in his absolute power over evil and his total goodness toward us. Yet there are times when we feel overwhelmed by the injustices we see. Doubts lead us to question God. But God isn’t shocked by our doubts or anger. He waits to provide a fresh perspective.