Daily Journey - August 20

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August 20

1 Kings 21; Romans 13

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[1 Kings 22:20-22] Could the God of truth be guilty of sponsoring or condoning falsehood? Some have charged just that. The passages that are raised to back this charge are 1 Kings 22:20-23, Jeremiah 4:10 and Ezekiel 14:9.

Such a charge is possible only if one forgets that many biblical writers dismiss secondary causes and attribute all that happens directly to God, since he is over all things. Therefore, statements expressed in the imperative form of the verb often represent only what is permitted to happen. Accordingly, when the devils begged Jesus to let them enter the swine, he said, "Go" (Mt 8:31). This did not make him an active sponsor of evil; he merely permitted the demons to do what they wanted to do. In a similar manner, Jesus commanded Judas, "What you are about to do, do quickly" (Jn 13:27). But Jesus did not become the author of the evil perpetrated on himself. …

That God was able to overrule the evil and guile to which Ahab was so susceptible does not excuse the guilty prophets or their gullible listener. Even though the lying spirit had the Lord's permission, this did not excuse the prophets who misused their gifts. They fed the king exactly what he wanted to hear. Their words were nothing less than the echoes of the king's desires. Thus both the lying prophets, the king and Israel were equally culpable before God.

Walter C. Kaiser, Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), pp. 119-120

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