When Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, told Ahab, king of Israel, that they should consult a real prophet of God before going to war against the Arameans rather than taking the word of the bunch of phony prophet suck-ups Ahab had brought in, Ahab acted like the overgrown spoiled adult he was, saying: “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah” (I Kings 22:8a, NLT).
Enter Micaiah. While all the other prophets promised great victory against the Arameans, Micaiah only said: “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say” (I Kings 22:14).
“Ahab asked him, ‘Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should we hold back?’” (I Kings 22:15b).
“Micaiah told him, ‘In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace.’’”
‘Didn’t I tell you?’ the king of Israel exclaimed to Jehoshaphat. ‘He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.’
Then Micaiah continued, ‘Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on His throne with all the armies of heaven around Him, on His right and on His left. And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’
‘There were many suggestions, and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’
“‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked.
And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’
“‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’
So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all your prophets. For the Lord has pronounced your doom” (I Kings 22:17-23).
“Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him across the face. ‘Since when did the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?’ he demanded.
And Micaiah replied, ‘You will find out soon enough when you are trying to hide in some secret room!’” (I Kings 22:24-25).
Who was this Zedekiah who had the gall to slap Micaiah? One of the phony prophets, the very one who had “made some iron horns and proclaimed, ‘This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans to death!’” (I Kings 22:11b).
“‘Arrest him!’ the king of Israel ordered. ‘Take him back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to my son Joash. Give them this order from the king: ‘Put this man in prison, and feed him nothing but bread and water until I return safely from the battle!’” (I Kings 22:26-27).
“But Micaiah replied, ‘If you return safely, it will mean that the Lord has not spoken through me!’ Then he added to those standing around, ‘Everyone mark my words!’” (I Kings 22:28).
Micaiah knew the Lord had spoken to him and that going up against the Arameans would mean disaster. In the face of hundreds of opponents, he spoke the truth and endured physical abuse for having done so. Whenever you face opposition, remember Micaiah’s courage and trust the Lord to bring you through to victory.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates