1 Kings 22

1 Kings 22 has both the kings of Israel and Judah lining up to go after the king of Syria to recover Ramoth-gilead which belonged to Israel.  Ahab comes to Jehoshaphat and asks him to help.  Jehoshaphat says “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses”.  They were two kingdoms but both knew their heritage.  But before Jehoshaphat was willing to go to battle he said “Inquire first for the word of the Lord”.  So the king “gathered the prophets….four hundred men….Shall I go to battle”.  They wanted to be sure this would be a good decision.

There was a unanimous response.  “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king”.  Seems pretty clear.  But something didn’t quite add up.  “Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire”?  He just got 400 opinions but he wants one more.  So he presses Ahab about another prophet, and one comes to the front.  “There is yet one man….Micaiah….but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me”.  Sounds like someone who Ahab didn’t have in his pocket who would speak truth

 Micaiah wasn’t one to be bought.  “What the Lord says to me, that I will speak”.  The messengers who came to get him warned him what the king wanted to hear, but that didn’t matter.  He gave it straight.  “Hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left”.  Micaiah is plugged into the Lord.  And he tells both kings “the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you”.  He calls the 400 prophets liars and they throw him in jail.  It wasn’t the message they wanted to hear.

So they go to battle refusing to listen to Micaiah’s word from the Lord.  Jehoshaphat leads the charge and Ahab goes into battle as a warrior – incognito.  The Syrian army was only after Ahab, so when they realized that Jehoshaphat wasn’t their target, they turned back.  Meanwhile, “a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate”.  Ahab got his due anyway.  God has a way of working things out like that.  And as the prophecy had been issued, “the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord”.  Jehoshaphatwalked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it”.  And God honored him in that.  He reigned for more years – twenty five in all.

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