A Study of Deception versus Discernment


A Study of Deception versus Discernment

1 Kings 22 presents a fascinating story of discernment versus deception, while highlighting a frightening aspect of human nature that most of us would prefer not to admit.

The King of Israel, Ahab along with his wife Jezebel, who was the ultimate in wickedness, lured the people of Israel to engage in idolatry, child sacrifice and the silencing of dissenters through murder. Yet somehow Ahab managed to convince the King of Judah, Jehoshaphat, who did mostly good in the eyes of יהוה, to combine forces against Ramot Gilead. Ahab even provided “prophets” who confirmed the victory they would achieve together.

But first Jehoshaphat wisely asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of יהוה here, that we may inquire of him?” Ahab lamented that there was one, but he hated him because he never prophesied good news for him. Yet Jehoshaphat persisted, so Micaiah was summoned.

When the king’s messenger asked Micaiah to join in agreement with the other “prophetic words,” he firmly replied, “Whatever יהוה says to me, I shall speak it.” Surprisingly, when Micaiah appeared before the two kings, his words actually validated the false prophets, such as Zedekiah, who did a “prophetic act” by making iron horns that he declared would gore the enemy. In response, Ahab, a master of lies, insisted that Micaiah speak only the truth!

So then Micaiah explained that many spirits who gathered before the Throne of יהוה eagerly offered their services to lure the kings into battle, and יהוה Himself approved the one who would “be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all Ahab’s prophets.” Thus, Micaiah prophesied Ahab’s death.

When Jehoshaphat heard that “יהוה put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these prophets and He has declared disaster against you,” why didn’t he immediately abandon the mission? And when Ahab convinced Jehoshaphat to dress in his royal robes as they entered the battle, while Ahab disguised his identity as a king, why on earth did he agree?! After all, Jehoshaphat initially discerned correctly that no true prophet was available to inquire of, so how could he have fallen into such great deception?

As false prophets increase on earth, performing great wonders that could even lead the elect astray, we need to test the spirits to discern their source, while focusing on the testimony of Yeshua, which is the only spirit of true prophecy. Oh יהוה, help us to be lovers of the truth, transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can discern Your perfect will. Help us not to fall for endless myths, destructive heresies and teachings of demons. Instead let no one deceive us in any way as we endure sound teaching, pursue justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our יהוה!