At the end of the last chapter, Ahab, king of Israel, had had Naboth killed so that he could have Naboth’s land. However, once he was confronted with his sin, he repented. This repentant spirit is why we see at the beginning of today’s chapter, Israel had been at peace with Aram, who’s king was Ben-Hadad, for three years.
But now, Ahab brings to the attention of his people, and the visiting king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, that Ramoth-gilead remains under the rule of Ben-hadad, when it should be part of Israel.
Jehoshaphat, unlike Ahab, loves the Lord. And he wisely suggests that they consult the Lord before going to war to liberate Ramoth-gilead. So Ahab brings in 400 of his prophets to ask them. The problem is, these prophets are not true prophets. They don’t speak for God. And knowing that their king Ahab wanted to go to war with Aram, they told him that God would give him the victory.
Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from a truly godly man, however, and asked if there wasn’t another prophet of the Lord that they could ask.
So Ahab called for Micaiah, a true prophet of God, even though he hated him, since Micaiah always brought bad news to him. And no wonder, since Ahab was not following God. The things God told Micaiah to tell Ahab would always be messages of judgment.
Micaiah had been told by Ahab’s men to give a good report about the proposed battle, but of course he declared that he would only say what God told him to say. When he was before Ahab and Jehoshaphat, at first he gave a sarcastic “OK” to the battle, but Ahab knew he wasn’t being truthful, so he then told them that they would be defeated.
Boiling it all down, that is exactly what happened, and Ahab was killed in a most miraculous manner.
One of the things I glean from this episode in Israel’s history is that Micaiah, God’s messenger, was unwilling to say the popular thing. There were already 400 other prophets who told Ahab what he wanted to say. How hard would it be to stand up as the only one with a contrary message?
In the world in which we live, it is becoming increasingly unpopular to carry the message of Jesus. Just the use of His name is enough to bring disdain. However, we need to be like Micaiah and carry the Word of God faithfully, because it is truth, and God’s work will be accomplished despite the ideas of man.
What do you think?