Monday, January 3, 2011

Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!

King Ahab was never a good king.  He was married to Jezebel, a wicked woman who brought Baal worship to the forefront of Israel.  But even though King Ahab was selfish and idolatrous, God spared his life when he humbled himself after hearing the sentence of death.  His time was coming... but not yet.

The thing is, you can't hide from God, as Ahab found out.

Ahab, king of Israel, got together with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.  Jehoshaphat should have known better than to throw in his lot with wicked Ahab.  Jehoshaphat sincerely followed the Lord as he ruled over the divided kingdom of Judah, but here he was making plans with Ahab to go up against the king of Syria.

Jehoshaphat said to Ahab, "Inquire first for the word of the Lord."  He wanted to make sure they were following the Lord in going into battle.  So Ahab asked his 400 prophets, and they all said, "Go on up!"

Jehoshaphat KNEW in his heart that the 400 prophets were false ones.  He asked Ahab, "Isn't there another prophet here, a prophet of the Lord, that we can ask?"

Ahab hated to say it.  There WAS one more prophet, but Ahab couldn't stand him.

"There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.

I hate him, Ahab hissed.  He never has anything nice to say about me.  All he ever says is bad stuff.  

Ahab begrudgingly called for Micaiah.  The messenger who went to get him let him know that he ought to agree with the 400 prophets, if he knew what was good for him.  Micaiah answered, "As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak."  I'm gonna tell the truth, he was declaring.

So, when asked if they should go up to battle, Micaiah said, "Go up and triumph."  But there was something in his demeanour, something in his speech... and everyone knew he was mocking them.  Even Ahab.

"How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?" Ahab demanded.

Micaiah countered with the truth.  Your people will be scattered like sheep without a shepherd.  

Ahab said, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?"  Didn't I tell you?  He's got nothing nice to say about me!

So Micaiah described the scene in the heavenly throne room, when the Lord asked who would entice Ahab, that he might go up and fall in battle.  It was the Lord's plan to bring disaster on Ahab; he'd had his extra time, given to him by a Gracious God who saw his repentance.  But now it was time for Ahab's demise.

"How will you entice him?" asked the Lord.  
"I'll go and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets."  

Micaiah described the scene in the throne room.  A lying spirit was in the mouth of the prophets.  Disaster was coming on Ahab.  

For his trouble Micaiah was thrown into prison.  It's okay if things don't go your way; as long as you follow God.  Prison is peaceful if God is there with you; He was there with Micaiah.

The Battle

Ahab and Jehoshaphat went up to battle, and Ahab decided to disguise himself.  "You wear your robes," he told Jehoshphat.

The king of Syria told his 32 captains, "Don't bother with the little guys.  Just go after the king!"  So the battle became fierce around Jehoshaphat, and he cried out, fearing for his life.

But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armour and the breastplate.

Ahab tried to hide.  But there is no hiding from God.

Ahab tried to change the message.  But there is no changing with God.

Jehoshaphat was jumping in the chariot, terrified, afraid he would die, but no arrow hit him.  We will not die one second before God ordains it, no matter the circumstances.  

Micaiah stood firm and told the truth, even when warned not to.  Our message may not be popular, but it's the truth and it needs to be told.


  1. Be bold for the Lords sake! He's the KING, Majesty, Ruler above ALL! Amen.

  2. I have always appreciated the history of Ahab and Jezebel. It is one that really speaks of the way the lost can operate right beside God's chosen.

    Actually, I understand Jezebel and her thirst for power. When we talk about the 'old man' we carry with us after salvation, Jezebel describes my old man to a tee. But for the grace of God go I.


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