Q. Ezekiel 14:9 ” ‘And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel.
I’ve read this chapter but don’t understand this verse. Why will God destroy the prophet if God Himself enticed him to utter the prophecy?
A. God will often allow us to follow our desires to their ultimate conclusion. For example, those who reject the truth will be sent a strong delusion that causes them to believe the lie (2 thes. 2:9-12). Those who want God out of their lives will get to spend eternity that way.
James 1:13-15 says, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
In the case of the prophets of Ezekiel 14:9-11, God was speaking about people coming to a prophet to inquire of Him with idols in their hearts. He said He Himself would answer them and make them an example to others. If the prophet answers it means God has detected a spirit of rebellion in the prophet’s heart and is allowing him to carry his disobedience to its ultimate conclusion. Otherwise He would be punishing the prophet unjustly, something His character prohibits. In both cases God’s purpose was to draw the people back to Him.