Lying Spirits and the Host of Heaven

1 Kings 22

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In 1 Kings 22, Yahweh was sitting on His throne in heaven. All the host of heaven were standing by Yahweh on each hand. 1The Hebrew text provides: all host of the heavens (וְכָל־צְבָ֤א הַשָּׁמַ֨יִם֙) were standing by Him. Micaiah received this revelation to share with Ahab. Yahweh asked: “Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead?” And one said this while another said that. Notice that the host of heaven offers ways to achieve Yahweh’s purposes. The host of heaven talk and know about the affairs of men. In fact, Yahweh discussed the affairs of men with the host of heaven. Yahweh already had His plan in place for the fall of Ahab, but now He wanted to hear the host present options for achieving the goals of Yahweh. They were, in effect, offering their services.

A spirit came forward. 2The Hebrew text provides: and then came forward the spirit and stood (וַיֵּצֵ֣א הָר֗וּחַ וַֽיַּעֲמֹד֙). The spirit then stood before Yahweh and offered his service. The spirit said: “I will go and I myself will persuade him.” 3The Hebrew text provides: I myself will persuade him (אֲנִ֣י אֲפַתֶּ֑נּוּ). Yahweh then asked, “How?” The spirit replied: “I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” 4The Hebrew text provides: I will be a lying spirit (ר֣וּחַ שֶׁ֔קֶר).  So Yahweh said to that spirit: “You shall persuade and prevail. 5The Hebrew text provides: you shall persuade and prevail (תְּפַתֶּה֙ וְגַם־תּוּכָ֔ל).  Go and do so.” Notice that Yahweh knew that the lying spirit would prevail and Ahab would fall. We gain insight into how Yahweh sends spirits to bring about the final results He has already determined. Ahab would fall at Ramoth-Gilead. 

Spirits stand around the throne of Yahweh and comprise part of the heavenly host.

Yahweh granted permission to a spirit in heaven to go to earth to influence people.

Yahweh may send a spirit to lie to achieve Yahweh’s purposes.

One lying spirit may influence the mouths of many prophets at the same time.

People should test the spirits to see if they are from God, before they speak.