We’ve yet to answer yesterday’s question: how was Ahab finally removed from the throne of Israel? Let’s do a quick recap and then we’ll move a little closer to finding out.
While Ahab was ruling Israel, Asa’s life ended and the rule of Judah went to his son Jehoshaphat, who “did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight” (I Kings 22:43a, NLT).
After three years with no conflict between Israel and Judah, Jehoshaphat paid a visit to Ahab and Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in battle to recover Ramoth-gilead from the king of Aram. Jehoshaphat agreed to help, but wisely included a prerequisite: “But first let’s find out what the Lord says” (I Kings 22:5).
Ahab summoned about 400 of his so-called prophets who immediately told him to go to war and take Ramoth-gilead, assuring Ahab that “The Lord will give the king victory” (I Kings 22:6b).
“But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question’” (I Kings 22:7).
Ahab reluctantly admitted to Jehoshaphat that there was one “prophet of the Lord” that he knew of: “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.’
Jehoshaphat replied, ‘That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say’” (I Kings 22:8).
“I hate him.” Ahab hated hearing the truth because he knew he was living his life completely opposed to the will of God. Micaiah may have prophesied nothing “but trouble for” Ahab, but he did so because Ahab always positioned himself to be in trouble! Positioning, folks. I’ve said it time and again: God cannot and will not bless disobedience. We must align ourselves with His will if we are to receive His blessings.
“King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on thrones at the threshing floor near the gate of Samaria. All of Ahab’s prophets were prophesying there in front of them. One of them, Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, made some iron horns and proclaimed, ‘This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans to death!’ All the other prophets agreed. ‘Yes,’ they said, ‘go up to Ramoth-gilead and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!’” (I Kings 22:10-12).
“Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, ‘Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success’” (I Kings 22:13).
Talk about being put under pressure! Every self-proclaimed prophet in Israel was putting on a show for the king, assuring him that victory was a sure thing when he went up against the Arameans. With the power of life and death in Ahab’s hands, what was Micaiah to do? The only thing a true man of God can do: tell the truth even if it goes against the “in” crowd.
And that’s precisely what Micaiah said: “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say” (I Kings 22:14).
Oftentimes we’re tempted to “go along to get along.” Micaiah was urged to do that very thing. Many times so are we. Stick with God, not the immoral majority. Our Heavenly Father is always on the winning side.
“A string of opinions no more constitutes faith, than a string of beads constitutes holiness.” (John Wesley)
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates