1 Kings 21-22
The Divided Kingdom-Israel & Judah (various Kings), cont’d. 1 Kings 12-22
1 Kings 21:1-16-Naboth, a Jezreelite, had a garden next to the palace in Jezreel that Ahab wanted, but would not sell him. This was based on the laws of family property inheritance laws (Leviticus 25:23; Numbers 36:7). Ahab pouted (:4), and he told Jezebel. She arranged to have Naboth falsely accused of cursing God and the king...and then stoned.
1 Kings 21:17-29-God sends Elijah to tell Ahab that he will be punished (his family line destroyed) for killing Naboth...and for his leading Israel into false worship. However, Ahab repents (:27-29) and God says that He will not fulfill Ahab's punishment until after he is dead.
1 Kings 22:1-28-Ahab (king of Israel) met with Jehoshapat (king of Judah) and asked him to join in a battle to regain Ramoth-gilead, which was being held by the Arameans (Syria). He agreed to...but first wanted to consult with the LORD. 400 prophets from Israel told him to go to war..."for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king" (:6). But Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of the LORD (:7). Ahab said that there was but that he hates him because he does not prophesy good concerning him (:8). They sent for Micaiah, son of Imlah. One of the false prophets, Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah...made horns of iron and said that they would assure victory over the Arameans.
- Chenaanah’s son and one of the prophets who spoke falsely to kings Ahab of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah, telling them that the Lord would give Ahab victory over the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead (1 Kgs 22:11). After hearing Micaiah’s contrary prediction that Ahab would in fact be killed in the battle, Zedekiah, in anger, struck Micaiah (22:24).
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 2189). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, Logos Bible Software
When the messenger found Micaiah, he told him to say the same thing as the rest of the prophets. Micaiah told him that he will only say what the LORD commanded him to say. At first, he sarcastically told Ahab to go ahead and do what the prophets said. Then, when Ahab pressed him for the truth, he said that the prophets had been deceived by a spirit (angel). Zedekiah struck him on the face. Micaiah said that he would realize his error when he hid himself from the enemy when they attacked. Ahab instructed that Micaiah be put in prison and fed sparingly...until he returns from the battle. Micaiah said that if he returns...then the LORD had not spoken to him.
How often do we say we want to know what God wants...and then go right ahead and do something different?
1 Kings 22:29-40-Ahab disguised himself and went into battle. The king of Aram (Syria) told his 32 captains to find and kill the king of Israel. They saw Jehoshaphat and thought he was Ahab...then realized that it wasn't. However, Ahab was struck by a random arrow...and died that evening. The army fled and returned to the capital, Samaria. When they washed the blood of Ahab out of the chariot it spilled upon the ground and the dogs licked it up...fulfilling the prophesy against him. His son, Ahaziah became king of Israel (:40).
1 Kings 22:40…Ahaziah became king of Israel (853)
1 Kings 22:41-50-A recount of when Jehoshaphat, son of Asa became king of Judah...in the 4th year that Ahab was king of Israel...he was 35 years old...and reigned for 25 years (cf. 1 Kings 15:24). He followed the LORD...but did not remove the high places...and, he married the daughter of Ahab and made peace with him. He expelled the sodomites who remained in the land. Jehoshaphat died...and his son Jehoram became king.
1 Kings 22:50…Jehoram became king of Israel (852-841)
1 Kings 23:51-53-Ahaziah became king of Israel during Jehoshaphat's 17th year as king of Judah...he reigned 2 years. He did evil in the sight of the LORD...just like his parents.
Prayer: Father, please help me to be like Micaiah. He didn’t say what was publicly pleasing or personally prudent. He said only what You commanded him…regardless of the outcome to himself. Everyone wants to be liked and accepted…including myself. And sometimes telling the truth can offend people and harm friendships. But please don’t let me ever compromise to the slightest degree the truth which You have given. Help me to speak Your truth in Your love.