When asked if Israel and Judah should go to war against the Arameans, Micaiah, a true prophet of God, told Israel’s king, Ahab: “The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all your prophets. For the Lord has pronounced your doom” (I Kings 22:23, NLT).
And how was Micaiah rewarded for telling Ahab the truth? Zedekiah, the biggest baloney salesman among the false prophets, “walked up to Micaiah and slapped him across the face” (I Kings 22:24a). And if that wasn’t enough humiliation for poor Micaiah, Ahab then ordered him arrested: “Put this man in prison, and feed him nothing but bread and water until I return safely from the battle!” (I Kings 22:27b).
To which Micaiah responded: “If you return safely, it will mean that the Lord has not spoken through me!” (I Kings 22:28a).
“So King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah led their armies against Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle” (I Kings 22:29-30).
To say the least, it’s difficult to understand why Jehoshaphat would agree to go into battle with Ahab after hearing Micaiah’s prophecy, but go he did. And he even agreed to make himself the proverbial sitting duck by wearing what would clearly identify him as a king while Ahab wore a disguise, most likely the same garments as the other warriors.
“Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his thirty-two chariot commanders: ‘Attack only the king of Israel. Don’t bother with anyone else!’ So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. ‘There is the king of Israel!’ they shouted. But when Jehoshaphat called out, the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, and they stopped chasing him” (I Kings 22:31-33).
“Attack only the king of Israel.” Ahab might have been disguised so that the Arameans couldn’t recognize him, but he had no way at all of hiding from God. No one does. So when God determines a person’s time is up, it’s up, period. As was Ahab’s.
“An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. ‘Turn the horses and get me out of here!’ Ahab groaned to the driver of his chariot. ‘I’m badly wounded!’” (I Kings 22:34).
That Aramean soldier may have thought that arrow was “randomly shot,” but God knew exactly where it was headed. Even in full armor, Ahab wasn’t protected from it. The arrow went straight into the unprotected area “between the joints of his armor.”
“The battle raged all that day, and the king remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran down to the floor of his chariot, and as evening arrived he died. Just as the sun was setting, the cry ran through his troops: ‘We’re done for! Run for your lives!’” (I Kings 22:36).
Sin never affects merely the individual. It affects and infects people all around it. Ahab’s foolish decision to go into battle against the Lord’s warning through the prophet Micaiah cost his own life and undoubtedly the lives of many soldiers.
Don’t ever think you can hide from God – it can’t be done. But if you’re His child, what you can do is run to Him. There’s nothing in your past or present that He doesn’t already know; and He’s ready to forgive and forget anything you’re willing to confess to Him.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates