Some argue that the Bible is contradictory because 1 Kings 22:22 says that God sent a lying spirit, but Titus 1:2 says that God cannot lie. However, there is a very simple explanation that solves this alleged contradiction in the Bible.
Scriptures – Did God Send a Lying Spirit?
1 Kings 22:22
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.’1 Kings 22:22
in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,Titus 1:2
The Answer – Did God Send a Lying Spirit?
God Sending a Lying Spirit Does Not Mean God Lied
There is a difference between God ”’sending”’ a lying spirit and God ”’actually lying”’. That God sent a lying spirit does not at all mean that God actually lied, so there is simply absolutely no contradiction between the two passages.
The Bible teaches that God is completely sovereign over creation, even over Satan, demons, and evil spirits, which he sometimes uses to accomplish his plans. We see this in the book of Job, where God “permits” Satan to torture Job, but Job understands that God is ultimately sovereign over what has happened to him. He says:
He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.Job 1:21-22
Job 1:22 explicitly says that Job did not sin in saying that it was the Lord who took everything away from him. So, God uses Satan, demons, and evil spirits for his purposes, but God is never ”’guilty”’ of the actions of Satan, demons, and evil spirits. The being who actually commits sin is guilty of the sin, not God.
Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties
There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.
More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible
To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.
These books are also excellent resources: