I was interacting with a confused christian the other Day who argued that god tempted people to sin. Here was his argument.
"Mr. Singleton, Satan cannot even move a finger unless God decrees him to do so. Are you able to see how great the God of the Bible is, in its right interpretation? Tell who sent the Evil Spirit upon King Saul in 1Sam 16? It was God! Who became a lying spirit in mouth of all the kings prophets in 1Kings 22:22? It was God! To whose purpose did all this happen? God’s!"
Now the Bible teaches that God does not tempt people to sin.
James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
So what about his references?
1Kings 22:22 And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
1Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him
Now these verses seem rather intimidating, but the answer is always in the context
1 Kings 22:18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?
19 And he said, Hear thou therefore 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 hand and on his left.
20 And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him.
In 1 Kings 22:22 the kings are in rebellion. The prophets are in rebellion.
A demon wants to give them what they want. False prophesy.
The demon is asking Jehovah's permission since Israel is under his care. God grants it since he respects their will. If they want death and curses, then that is what they get.
God was not tempting anyone to sin.
1 samuel16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
1 samuel 16:16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
1samuel 16 shows Saul "troubled" by an evil spirit. It does not say he was tempted. Saul does not react by doing evil, but has David play some psalms for him. If this was a troubling spirit, or a spirit of calamity, that would explain it. The Holy Spirit and the peace which comes with Him had left. The LORD wanted him to feel the chaotic feelings of leaving the will of God. (The word evil can also mean destruction and calamity.)
As the Bible makes sense if take the time to study it in it's context. :)