God Sending Lying And Evil Spirits? Abraham And Isaac? Cyrus And Isaiah 45:7? The Greater Good Fallacy?

God Sending Lying Spirits?
God Sending Evil Spirits?
Abraham & Isaac & Kierkegaard’s Paradox?
Cyrus & Isaiah 45:7?
The Greater Good Fallacy?
Who Incited David to Number Israel?
David’s Census and the Plague?
Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart?
Amalekites? Conquest? Genocide?

Part 1

God Sending Evil/Lying Spirits?

[1] https://reknew.org/2008/01/judges-923/
[2] https://carm.org/god-send-deceiving-spirit-1kings-22-22
[3] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/devotionals/read-the-bible/1-kings-22-1-thessalonians-5-daniel-4-psalms-108-109/
[4] http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=661
[5] https://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-solutions/1_Kings_22.22.php
[6] https://derekzrishmawy.com/2015/07/31/straining-gnats-and-siding-with-pharaoh-over-the-midwives/
[7] http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=1278
[8] http://www.gotquestions.org/evil-spirit-Saul.html
[9] ….beginning at Part 10 further down the focus is more on the “Sending Lying/Evil Spirits” areas…for the most part….

Part 2

“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things…” Isaiah 45:7

[1] http://disq.us/p/1lwreyv which is also via https://www.str.org/node/42689#comment-3501598855
[2] Abraham, Isaac, Kierkegaard’s Paradox, Cyrus, & Isaiah 45:7 at http://disq.us/p/1yhjyrv
[3] God Emotionally Tortured Abraham?? at http://disq.us/p/1yhkd08
[4] Abraham, Faith, Divine Command Theory, & Basic Reading Comprehension at http://disq.us/p/1yh7bgt
[5] Abraham, Isaac, and God’s Foreknowledge at http://disq.us/p/1yhjehw

Part 3

Is It Ever “Good” To Lie?

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-counts-as-lie.html
[2] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/02/live-action-lying-and-natural-law.html
[3] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/murderer-at-door.html
[4] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/is-it-wrong-to-lie-to-hal.html
[5] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/01/smith-tollefsen-and-pruss-on-lying.html
[6] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/there-is-no-santa-clause.html

Part 4

Moral Dilemmas And No Good Options:

“…in a hypothetical war we find a few hundred people hiding and the crying baby will give away the hiding place of the 100 adults, hence they’ll be found and killed. The options: we can kill the baby and save the 100 or we can let the baby cry and sacrifice (thereby) all the adults and the baby too in the end…..”

“What’s the “right” or “good” option when all logically possible options entail less than the ideal — less than Moral Excellence?” There Is No Moral Excellence In Privation – as discussed in “Divine Command Theory Collapses Into A Metaphysical Absurdity” at https://metachristianity.com/divine-command-theory-collapses-into-a-metaphysical-absurdity/

Parts 5 & 6

The Fallacies of the “Evil God Challenge” and of the “Euthyphro Dilemma”

Part 5

The Evil God Challenge:

[1] https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2011/11/stephen-laws-incoherent-evil-go/
[2] https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-evil-god-objection/
[3] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/11/broken-law.html
[4] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/laws-evil-god-challenge.html
[5] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/11/crickets-still-chirping.html
[6] https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/if-isiss-god-were-real-would-i-be-obliged-to-follow-him

Part 6

The Euthyphro Dilemma:

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-obligation-and-euthyphro-dilemma.html
[2] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/04/one-god-further-objection.html
[3] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/does-morality-depend-on-god.html
[4] https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/euthyphro-dilemma
[5] https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-euthyphro-dilemma-once-more/
[6] https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/euthyphro-argument-revisited/
[7] https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-plausibility-of-grounding-moral-values-in-god/

Part 7

The Fallacy of The Greater Good Theodicy —&— Gratuitous Evil Is A Metaphysical Impossibility

[1] https://randalrauser.com/2018/08/can-violence-ever-serve-a-redemptive-purpose/#comment-4071850429
[2] …that is also linked with http://disq.us/p/1vc9vwd
[3] https://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/07/forced-love-is-the-wrong-way-to-look-at-it.html?cid=6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c87fe182970b#comment-6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c87fe182970b

Part 8

A paraphrase,

“I don’t think there is any such thing as a logically necessary created good (and if there is, I’d say: “Well, that’s just a given“). And of course, on Christianity every created thing comes, ultimately, from God. D. Hart comments about “…God – the infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality – is evident everywhere, inescapably present to us, while autonomous “nature” is something that has never, even for a moment, come into view….” So, to say that a created thing is “from God” is to add zero information content. So again I would maintain that, on Christian terms, to say “you are a blessing from God” is semantically equivalent to saying “it is good that you are here”. I affirm your objection to the “suffering is somehow good” line of thinking. People say all sorts of really screwy and hurtful things when it comes to interpreting the meaning of suffering. It is a thin line between saying, on the one hand, “the opportunity that God gives me to respond to suffering is a gift” and saying, on the other hand, “my suffering is a gift from God” or (even worse) “the purpose of my suffering is to provide the precondition for the virtuous response of others”. In my view, many people fall off the balance beam while trying to walk the line between these two subtly different, but very significantly different, modes of thought.” (hillclimber/paraphrased)

Part 9

Who Incited David to Number Israel?
David’s Census and the Plague?
Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart?
Amalekites? Conquest? Genocide?

  1. Who Incited David to Number Israel? http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=784
  2. David’s Census and the Plague http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=2237
  3. Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart? http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1205
  4. Part 1: Amalekites? Conquest? Sinai? Condone? Moral Excellence? Means & Ends? – at http://disq.us/p/1z50shs which is also linked with https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/okay-so-laura-ingalls-wilder-was-a-racist-now-what/#comment-4301533504
  5. Part 2: “Amalekites? Conquest? Sinai? Condone? Moral Excellence? Means & Ends?” – at http://disq.us/p/1z5th9q which is also linked with https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/okay-so-laura-ingalls-wilder-was-a-racist-now-what/#comment-4302871982
  6. Divine Command Theory Collapses Into A Metaphysical Absurdity https://metachristianity.com/divine-command-theory-collapses-into-a-metaphysical-absurdity/
  7. Objective And Irreducible Evil Exists Therefore Objective And Irreducible Good Exists Therefore God Exists https://metachristianity.com/objective-and-irreducible-evil-exists-therefore-objective-and-irreducible-good-exists-therefore-god-exists/
  8. God Sending Lying And Evil Spirits? Abraham And Isaac? Cyrus And Isaiah 45:7? The Greater Good Fallacy? https://metachristianity.com/god-sending-lying-spirits-god-n-sending-evil-spirits-n-abraham-n-isaac/
  9. Amalekites? Canaanites? Etc.? The following three cover a wider range of topics but have several segues here – [A] http://christianthinktank.com/rbutcher1.html and [B] http://christianthinktank.com/qamorite.html and [C] http://christianthinktank.com/midian.html

Amalekites? Genocide?

Begin Excerpt:

Even in the little section on the Amalekites, the description of the situation doesn’t even come close to what we consider ‘genocide’ today. Most (but not all) things considered genocide today involve groups internal to the country in question, and they were either killed outright by their own government (sometimes slowly through torture and abuse) or deported to a place of sure-to-kill-them environment. Academic definitions of genocide exclude combat deaths and noncombatants that die as a by-product of military action. It generally denotes the deliberate killing of someone solely because of their indelible group membership (indelible is the term used for race, ethnicity, nationality etc.–that characteristics that are ‘indelible’). [For one of the major authorities on this subject, see the work of R.J. Rummel at www2.hawaii.edu/~rummel.]

Consider some of the better-known cases:

    1. The government of the Ottoman Empire deportedtwo-thirds or more of its estimated 1-1.8M Armenian citizens during WWI. They were forced into the deserts of present-day Syria, and most died due slowly to starvation and dehydration. This was an internal group that was forced out of the country into the desert to die.
    2. The Nazi genocidal actions against the Jews, the Roma, etc. were also initially targeted at internal people.
    3. During WW2, the government of Croatia killed an estimated 200-350K ofits internal Serbian citizens.
    4. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia killed 31% of its own population, apprx 2 million people (although some of this would be considered ‘democide’ and based on ‘delible’ characteristics such as political alignment, instead of ‘genocide’ proper).
    5. In Rwanda, between 500k-1M of the Tutsi ethnic group (all internal) were killed by the Hutu ethnic group (fighting had been going on between them for some time).

Notice how extremely different these are from the case of the Amalekites:

    1. They are NOT an internal group
    2. They are NOT a minority group
    3. Amalekites are NOT targeted because of their Amalekite-ness (since they were welcome as immigrants in Israel)
    4. They are never under the government control of Israel.
    5. They are not pursed and hunted in other countries for extermination.

…..What this means–although it would not bear on the main ethical sensitivity here–is that it is historically inaccurate to label this military action as ‘genocidal’. (This is still the case, EVEN IF one ONLY is talking about the killing of the families of the warriors. There are none of the defining elements of genocide–as the term is used by experts–present in the accounts of this initiative.) Let’s be clear on this–I am not exploring how to “justify a genocide”, because in the first place, it is NOT genocide. [Interestingly, the only case we have in the bible of something approaching genocide is in the book of Esther. Haman, a prominent official, develops a plot in which the internal people will be allowed to attack, kill, and plunder the internal Jews in the nation. This is very close to genocide, and it is quite ironic that Haman is called an Agagite, and said to be an Amalekite by Josephus in Ant. 11.209.]

End Excerpt.

A brief list of references regarding “Calvinism” and “Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart” and so on:

  1. https://soteriology101.com/2018/06/03/tim-keller-3-objections-to-the-calvinistic-doctrine-of-election/
  2. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-2/doctrine-of-man-part-17/doctrine-of-man-part-17/
  3. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/does-the-atonement-imply-universalism
  4. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/gods-unconditional-love/
  5. Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart? http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1205
  6. “A” through “E” As Per: a. http://disq.us/p/1ne4ujz and b. http://disq.us/p/1ne4r2z and c. http://disq.us/p/1ne55kr and d. http://disq.us/p/1ne6xjb and e. http://disq.us/p/1ijftkq
  7. The following quote:

Quote:

“God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, ‘What doest thou?’ Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”

End quote ((– A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy: The Attributes of God))

Most of The Remaining Items Moving Forward:

God Sending Evil/Lying Spirits & 1 Samuel 16 & Judges 9 & 1 Kings 22 & Ahab & Etc.

Part 10

A quote/excerpt from the “Expositor’s Bible Commentary”

Quote:

The “evil spirit” (v.14), the divinely sent scourge that “tormented” (lit., “terrified, terrorized”) Saul, returned again and again (18:10; 19:9). Just as God had sent an evil spirit to perform his will during the days of Abimelech (Jdg 9:23), so also he sent an evil spirit on Saul — “both of whom proved to be unworthy candidates for the office” of king in Israel (Howard, “The Transfer of Power,” 482).

In both instances it was sent in response to their sin, which in Saul’s case was particularly flagrant (13:13–14; 15:22–24).
Although the “evil” spirit may have been a demon that embodied both moral and spiritual wickedness, it may rather have been an “injurious” (so NIV note) spirit that “boded ill for Saul, one that produced harmful results for him” (Howard, ibid., 482 n. 36). It was thus doubtless responsible for the mental and psychological problems that plagued Saul for the rest of his life.

That God uses alien spirits to serve him is taken for granted in the OT (cf. esp. 2Sa 24:1 with 1Ch 21:1). On occasion God’s people “were not very concerned with determining secondary causes and properly attributing them to the exact cause. Under the divine providence everything ultimately was attributed to him; why not say he did it in the first place?” (Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Hard Sayings, 131; cf. also Archer, 180: “Saul’s evil bent was by the permission and plan of God. We must realize that in the last analysis all penal consequences [Judgment, not Evil] come from God, as the Author of the moral law and the one who always does what is right [Ge 18:25]”; cf. Fredrik Lindstrom, God and the Origin of Evil [Lund: Gleerup, 1983]).

End Quote.

Part 11

From “Understanding The Bible Commentary Series”

Quote:

16:14–23 / The next incident, providing one explanation of the first meeting between Saul and David and introducing David’s skills as a musician, lacks the immediacy and the story-telling skill found in the previous verses and in chapter 17. The dialogue in 16:16–18, for example, is more stilted than that found elsewhere. It is almost as if the writers possess extra information that they want the readers to know about but are not sure how it fits with the rest…….

What characterizes Saul now are terrible depressive moods that are depicted as the result of an evil spirit from the LORD. All circumstances, good and evil, pleasant or unpleasant, were seen as coming from the all-powerful Lord.”

The evil spirit in this instance is as likely to be a bad temper as some supernatural intervention. However, given Saul’s later uncontrollable or at least uncontrolled fits, the explanation of demon possession would be understandable. In either case the text never hints that this evil spirit provides an excuse. Saul remains responsible for his behavior. The problem is the effect of his disobedience resulting in a bad conscience and loss of any awareness of God’s presence with him.

Saul’s courtiers, concerned for his well-being, persuade him to look for a court musician, for music was recognized as having beneficial effects in some circumstances. David, apparently having some renown as a harpist, is sent for. The description of David as a brave man and a warrior does not fit with what immediately precedes or follows this section and fails to explain Saul’s request that Jesse send David, who is with the sheep, which appears to indicate other prior knowledge. However, David, bringing appropriate gifts, joins Saul’s service as an armor-bearer, or squire, who doubled as a music therapist. There is no inkling of any tension between Saul and David, but rather emphasis on the fact that Saul liked David and was pleased with him. The music therapy was apparently, if only temporarily, successful.

End Quote.

Part 12

Did God Send an Evil Spirit upon Saul?” By Dave Miller Ph.D.

Quote/Excerpt:

The nature of God is such that He never would do anything that is out of harmony with His divine essence. Being infinite in all of His attributes (including goodness and compassion), He never would mistreat anyone, manifest partiality or injustice, or do something that may be legitimately indicted as wrong (Genesis 18:25). “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). That being the case, how does one explain the following: “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him” (1 Samuel 16:14); “And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul” (1 Samuel 18:10; cf. 19:9; Judges 9:23)? Did God supernaturally afflict Saul with a demonic spirit that, in turn, overruled Saul’s ability to be responsible for his own actions?

At least three clarifications are worthy of consideration. First, the Bible frequently refers to acts of deserved punishment that God has inflicted upon people throughout history. For example, He brought a global deluge against the Earth’s population (Genesis 6-9) due to rampant human wickedness and depravity (6:5). God did not act inappropriately in doing so, not only because the people deserved nothing less, but also because He repeatedly warned the people of impending disaster, and was long-suffering in giving them ample opportunity to repent (1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:9). The Bible provides instance after instance where evil people received their “just desserts.” God is not to be blamed nor deemed unjust for levying deserved punishment for sin, even as honest, impartial judges in America today are not culpable when they mete out just penalties for criminal behavior. Retribution upon flagrant, ongoing, impenitent lawlessness is not only right and appropriate; it is absolutely indispensable and necessary (see Miller, 2002).

In this case, Saul was afflicted with “an evil spirit” as a punishment for his insistent defiance of God’s will. He had committed flagrant violation of God’s commands on two previous occasions (1 Samuel 13:13-14; 15:11,19). His persistence in this lifelong pattern of disobedient behavior certainly deserved direct punitive response from God (e.g., 31:4). As Keil and Delitzsch maintained: “This demon is called ‘an evil spirit (coming) from Jehovah,’ because Jehovah had sent it as a punishment” (1976, 2:170). John W. Haley added: “And he has a punitive purpose in granting this permission. He uses evil to chastise evil” (1977, p. 142). Of course, the reader needs to be aware of the fact that the term for “evil” is a broad term that need not refer to spiritual wickedness. In fact, it often refers to physical harm or painful hardship (e.g., Genesis 19:19; 2 Samuel 17:14).

A second clarification regarding the sending of an evil spirit upon Saul is the question of, in what sense the spirit was “from the Lord.” To be honest and fair, the biblical interpreter must be willing to allow the peculiar linguistic features of ancient languages to be clarified and understood in accordance with the way those languages functioned. Specifically, ancient Hebrew (like most all other languages, then and now) was literally loaded with figurative language—i.e., figures of speech, Semitisms, colloquialisms, and idioms. It frequently was the case that “[a]ctive verbs were used by the Hebrews to express, not the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do” (Bullinger, 1898, p. 823, emp. in orig.; cf. MacKnight, 1954, p. 29). Similarly, the figure of speech known as “metonymy of the subject” occurs “[w]here the action is put for the declaration concerning it: or where what is said to be done is put for what is declared, or permitted, or foretold as to be done: or where an action, said to be done, is put for the giving occasion for such action” (Bullinger, p. 570, italics in orig., emp. added). Hence, when the Bible says that the “distressing spirit” that troubled Saul was “from the Lord,” the writer was using an idiom to indicate that the Lord allowed or permitted the distressing spirit to come upon Saul. George Williams commented: “What God permits He is stated in the Bible to perform” (1960, p. 127).

In this second case, God did not directly send upon Saul an evil spirit; rather He allowed it to happen in view of Saul’s own propensity for stubborn disobedience. […once again, all such events are judgments in response to a string of, series of, volitional rejections of goodness….] Gleason Archer commented on this point: “By these successive acts of rebellion against the will and law of God, King Saul left himself wide open to satanic influence—just as Judas Iscariot did after he had determined to betray the Lord Jesus” (1982, p. 179). One need not necessarily suppose that this demonic influence overwhelmed Saul’s free will. Satan can have power over us only insofar as we encourage or invite him to do so—“for what God fills not, the devil will” (Clarke, n.d., 2:259).

It is particularly interesting to note how the Bible links the frequent attempts at subversion by Satan with the redemptive scheme of God to provide atonement through the Christ. David, an ancestor of Christ, had to face Satan in the form of this “evil spirit” that sought to harm him through Saul, even as Jesus Himself had to face Satan’s attempts to subvert Him (Genesis 3:15; Matthew 4:1-11; cf. Matthew 2:16; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 12:4). Williams went on to observe: “This explains why so many of those who were the ancestors of Christ were the objects of Satan’s peculiar cunning and hatred” (p. 153).

A third consideration regarding the “evil spirit” that came upon Saul is the fact that the term “spirit” (ruach) has a wide range of meanings: air (i.e., breath or wind); the vital principle of life or animating force; the rational mind where thinking and decision-making occurs; the Holy Spirit of God (Gesenius, 1847, pp. 760-761), and even disposition of mind or attitude (Harris, et al., 1980, 2:836). Likewise, the word translated “evil” (KJV), “distressing” (NKJV), or “injurious” (NIV margin) is a word (ra‘a) that can mean “bad,” “unhappy,” or “sad of heart or mind” (Gesenius, p. 772). It can refer to “a variety of negative attitudes common to wicked people, and be extended to include the consequences of that kind of lifestyle” (Harris, et al., 2:856).

In view of these linguistic data, the “evil spirit” that came upon Saul may well have been his own bad attitude—his ugly disposition of mind—that he manifested over and over again. Here is a persistent problem with which so many people grapple—the need to get their attitude straight regarding God’s will for their lives, and the need to have an unselfish approach to life and the people around them. We can be “our own worst enemy.” Such certainly was the case with Saul—and he bore total responsibility for his own actions. He could not blame God or an external “evil spirit.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown summarize this point quite adequately: “His own gloomy reflections—the consciousness that he had not acted up to the character of an Israelitish king—the loss of his throne, and the extinction of his royal house, made him jealous, irritable, vindictive, and subject to fits of morbid melancholy” (n.d., p. 185). Indeed, all people ultimately choose to allow Satan to rule them by their capitulation to their own sinful inclinations, desires, and decisions (cf. Genesis 4:7; Luke 22:3; Acts 5:3).

In view of these considerations, God and the Bible are exonerated from wrongdoing in the matter of Saul being the recipient of an evil spirit. When adequate evidence is gathered, the facts may be understood in such a way that God is shown to be righteous and free from unfair treatment of Saul. Like every other accountable human being who has ever lived, Saul made his own decisions, and reaped the consequences accordingly.

End quote.

Part 13

From a slightly different perspective:

“The Bible says that “God … will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV). This really means that although God will allow you to be tempted, He’s not doing the tempting. James 1:13 (NKJV) says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” God allows temptation to come in order to strengthen our characters, but He doesn’t send it.” ((…from amazingfacts.org…))

Part 14

Context In The Genre:

Quote:

The evil spirit was used to bring David into the life of Saul. This account is recorded immediately following David’s anointing as the future king of Israel. The reader would be wondering how a shepherd boy would become king. First Samuel 16 reveals the first step in this journey. When the king’s servants saw the torment Saul was enduring, they suggested, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better” (1 Samuel 16:15–16). One of the king’s servants referred David to the king, describing the youth as a great harp player, among other things (verse 18). Saul called David to come and found him to be a great comfort: “David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, ‘Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.’ Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him” (1 Samuel 16:21–23). It is important to note that this evil spirit that troubled Saul was only temporary. The final verse notes that the evil spirit came on multiple occasions to bother Saul, but also it departed from him……

………A related question is, does God send evil spirits to torment people today? There are examples of individuals in the New Testament being turned over to Satan or demons for punishment. God allowed Ananias and Sapphira to be filled with the spirit of Satan as a warning and example to the early church (Acts 5:1–11). A man in the Corinthian church was committing incest and adultery, and God commanded the leaders to “hand him over to Satan” to destroy his sinful nature and save his soul (1 Corinthians 5:1–5). God allowed a messenger of Satan to torment the apostle Paul in order to teach him to rely on God’s grace and power and not become conceited because of the tremendous abundance of spiritual truth he was given (2 Corinthians 12:7).”

End Quote.

Part 15

Quote:

When Saul became king of Israel, God’s Spirit filled him: 1 Sam 10:6 “The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.”

Saul was a great leader for twenty years: 1 Sam 14:47-48 “After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.”

But then, Saul began to disobey God. Melancholy and self-conceit started to take over his life and God’s Spirit withdrew from him. It is then that: ” . . . an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul.” 1 Sam 18:10. The ancient historian Josephus explained this as follows: “But as for Saul, some strange and demonical disorders came upon him, and brought upon him such suffocations as were ready to choke him” (Antiquities 6.8.2). The Bible explains clearly what this means in Ps 81:8-12: “‘Hear, O my people, and I will warn you– if you would but listen to me, O Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.’ But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.”

In other words that evil spirit comes unto someone when that person rebels against God and decides to do his/her own will. God’s grace is removed from that person as God will not impose Himself on anyone. This opens the doors to the devil’s influence. It looks as if God sends these evil spirits, but in reality, we make our own choice by turning our backs on God and following our own devices.

God is a just God. It would be far from Him to impose Himself on anyone. Unfortunately, the devil does not do us the same courtesy. He does NOT respect anyone. He wants to devour us! He wants our destruction: 1 Peter 5:8 “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

The choice is ours to make. We can either choose to be blessed by the presence of God in our lives, or be cursed by a roaring lion whose only desire is to dominate our lives…..

By Rob Chaffart

End Quote.

Part 16

Quote:

Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. The LORD said, “Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?” And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, “I will entice him.” The LORD said to him, “How?” And he said, “I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” Then He said, “You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.” Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you. (NASB) 1 Kings 22:19-23

The king of Israel, Ahab, had just asked the king of Judea, Jehoshaphat, if he would ally with him and go to war against the nation of Aram. Prophets had been brought before the kings and everyone of them claimed that God would grant them victory. King Ahab was desperate for the truth and finally asked for the prophet Micaiah. Micaiah was a true prophet of God, not like the others. In 1 Kings 22:13-14 the messenger that was sent to Micaiah encouraged him to prophesy favorably, like the other prophets. But Micaiah prophesied as God had instructed him. His prophecy was negative (1 Kings 22:15-18). Ahab was apparently upset because Micaiah’s prophecy was negative. So Micaiah warned the king with the statement we find in 1 Kings 22:19-23. Ahab ignored God’s prophet and was defeated in battle (1 Kings 22:29-40).

End Quote.

Recall from earlier in Part 1 the following:

God Sending Evil/Lying Spirits?

[1] https://reknew.org/2008/01/judges-923/
[2] https://carm.org/god-send-deceiving-spirit-1kings-22-22
[3] https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/devotionals/read-the-bible/1-kings-22-1-thessalonians-5-daniel-4-psalms-108-109/
[4] http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=661
[5] https://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-solutions/1_Kings_22.22.php
[6] https://derekzrishmawy.com/2015/07/31/straining-gnats-and-siding-with-pharaoh-over-the-midwives/
[7] http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=1278
[8] http://www.gotquestions.org/evil-spirit-Saul.html

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