2 Chronicles 18
Ahhhh, back to one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible. Micaiah, the prophet with the hot mouth. But as I read the story once again, something new jumped out at me. The dialogue between the two kings was very interesting, particularly the things said by Ahab king of Israel.
When Jehoshaphat advised Ahab to seek the Lord for counsel, and the "prophets" gave the go-ahead, Jehoshaphat’s reply was, "Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?" (vs 6) Obviously, Jehoshaphat wasn’t buying the "go-ahead" from the other prophets. Somehow, he knew that it was wrong to go into war. But he wasn’t the only one.
King Ahab suggested that the only true prophet left was Micaiah, and he was summoned. When the king asked him what they should do, Micaiah (having been coached that he should go along with the thumbs-up) replied that the king should go into battle. And what was Ahab’s reply? "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?" (vs 15) In other words, Ahab knew exactly what was right and wrong.
He was certainly not deceived. And so, the more intriguing question to me is, why would he do something he knew was wrong? Well, I guess that’s a really dumb question. After all, most of the wrong things that are done in this world are done by people who know full well that they aren’t the right things to do.
And that’s why I believe God has made it impossible for us to be ultimately deceived. First, He gave us a conscience. Second, He has sent His Spirit into the world to convict us of right and wrong. And third, He sends third-party corroboration (in this case, Micaiah) in case we are left with any doubts.
God was the very first person to come up with the idea of informed consent. He believes in our freedom to choose so much that He doesn’t leave us stumbling around in the dark, wondering which way to go. And He certainly doesn’t leave us prey to overpowering deceptions that can ultimately whisk us off down the wrong road without our knowing. If we choose the wrong, it will be because, in the end, we have chosen it. With God, deception is impossible!