Jehoshaphat is visiting Ahab when Ahab says let’s go into battle. Ahab’s prophets predict success. Jehoshaphat wants a second opinion.
Israel and Judah are on friendly terms, quite possibly allies. It’s been three years since Israel was at war with Syria but Ahab decides he wants back Ramoth-gilead. He wants Jehoshaphat and Judah to help. Together they will attack Syria.
Jehoshaphat wants to know if the Lord is on their side before he commits to this. Ahab calls all his prophets to answer this question but Jehoshaphat’s spirit isn’t satisfied with their answer. He asks for a second opinion from another prophet. Ahab calls for one of his least favorite prophets. This is where we left our story last time. Let’s see where the Spirit takes us today.
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Ahab and Jehoshaphat wait at the threshing floor while Ahab’s prophets continue to prophesy success. A servant has been dispatched to fetch Micaiah and bring him before the kings. Zedekiah continues to root around with the horns he had made. Jehoshaphat is grinding his teeth at the spectacle being played out before him.
The servant approaches the home of Micaiah and raps soundly on the door. The door is opened by the gatekeeper before the sound of knocking dies in the air.
“I am here to retrieve Michael. The king has need of him” says the servant.
The gatekeeper rushes off to get Micaiah from in the house. It doesn’t take long because it is not a large house. Micaiah had been in his favorite spot for time with the Lord. Micaiah returns with the gatekeeper to greet their visitor.
“I’m Micaiah. How may I help you?”
“The king has need of you. Please come with me.”
Micaiah nods and steps through the doorway and proceeds away from the house with the servant. As soon as they are out of hearing range of the house the servant stops and turns to address Micaiah.
“The words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like theword of one of them, and speak faborably” (verse 31b).
Micaiah is well aware of the king’s attitude towards him. Micaiah is called upon by the Lord to deliver hard news to Ahab and Ahab does NOT appreciate it, or follow the Lord’s instructions for correction. The servant’s warning does nothing to sway Micaiah’s conviction.
“As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (verse 14).
The servant shakes his head in disgust and they continue on. “Why can’t Micaiah play along, just this once” he thinks. No matter. It is the king’s to deal with.
Micaiah and the servant approach the threshing floor where the prophets are still busy trying to convince the kings of the Lord’s favor. Both men come to stand before Ahab and Jehoshaphat. Ahab smiles and addresses Micaiah.
“Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” (verse 15b).
Micaiah doesn’t hesitate for even a minute.
“Go up and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king” (verse 15c).
The servant watching the exchange is pleased that Micaiah has agreed with the prophets. “I wish he would have told me that he was going to agree instead of making me worry about what was to come” he thinks.
Ahab though is not convinced. He knows Micaiah too well. He NEVER agrees with what the other prophets say. Something must be wrong. “What could he be hiding from me” ponders Ahab. Determined to get to the root of the problem Ahab presses in on Micaiah.
“How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me noting but the truth in the name of the Lord?” (verse 16) demands Ahab.
Micaiah shakes his head in disbelief. “He doesn’t even want the easy answer” thinks Micaiah.
Jehoshaphat looks on with curiosity. He didn’t feel comfortable with the other prophet’s answer. He doesn’t really feel comfortable with Micaiah’s either but for Ahab to admonish the man for giving the answer he wanted is a bit confusing. He decides to settle back and see where this goes.
Micaiah takes a deep breath and begins what he knows is going to be disturbing to Ahab, but it is the whole truth of the Lord.
“I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace’” (verse 17).
Ahab slapped his thighs in frustration. He motions towards Micaiah as he turns his head to Jehoshaphat to address him.
“Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” (verse 18).
Jehoshaphat sits forward in his chair. “Now this has the ring of truth in it” he thinks. He wants to hear ALL that the Lord would reveal through Micaiah.
Micaiah recognizes Jehoshaphat’s willing spirit. He will share ALL that the Lord has shared with him.
“Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside Him on His right hand and on His left; and the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and one anther said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And He said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets;…” Micaiah sweeps his arm to emphasize all the prophets surrounding him. He then points directly at Ahab as he delivers the last of the Lord’s words. “…the Lord has declared disaster for you” (verses 19-23).
Jehoshaphat is shaken. This word resonated with his spirit. It is surely the Lord speaking through the prophet Micaiah. Ahab has a smirk on his lips. He knew Micaiah would pronounce bad news for him. The biggest reaction comes from Zedekiah. He was the spokesman for the group of prophets. He fully believed in his own power to read the spirits. HE was the mouthpiece of the Lord for Ahab.
Zedekiah backhands Micaiah across the face and then pushes his face into Micaiah’s while he screeches in indignation, “How did the Spirit of the Lord go from me to speak to you?” (verse 24b).
Micaiah stands his ground and does not give one inch to the man screaming at him. His voice is calm and quiet as he speaks.
“Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself” (verse 25).
Now it’s Ahab who is indignant. He jumps to his feet and points at Micaiah.
“Seize Micaiah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the kings son,..” He looks Micaiah directly in the face as he pronounces his sentence. “…and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison and feed him meager rations of bread and water,…” Ahab steps closer and with venom in his voice continues, “…until I come in peace”’” (verses 26-27). Spittle lands on Micaiah’s face from the force of Ahab’s words.
Guards now have Micaiah surrounded with one on each side holding fast to his arms. With Ahab mere inches from his face Micaiah speaks in a strong voice that carries like the crack of a whip.
“If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me” (verse 28a).
Soldiers begin to propel Micaiah away. He turns his head to encompass the crowd and Jehoshaphat as he is led away. In an even louder voice, showing NO fear, he calls out for witnesses.
“Hear, all you peoples!” (verse 28b).
Jehoshaphat stands watching as Micaiah is propelled into the city and to his fate.
(to be continued)
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The first thing I want to say is that was NO angel who offered to help God entice Ahab to his death. I don’t believe angels lie. If you will notice too that all heaven stood to the sides of God while the lying spirit came from the front. This spirit was from Satan. But God allowed it and used it in the judgement of Ahab. And God said it would succeed! Even after the curtain has been pulled back on the scheme, Ahab is STILL going to do as he pleased; as the lying spirits enticed him to do.
Second thing is, did you notice that the idea of taking Ramoth-gilead came into Ahab’s heart BEFORE he sought the Lord for Jehoshaphat? Ahab wouldn’t even have questioned the outcome if Jehoshaphat hadn’t requested it. So God knew Jehoshaphat would want confirmation. I believe Micaiah’s revelation of God’s actions was for Jehoshaphat, not Ahab. God was letting Jehoshaphat in on what was going to happen. God wanted him to know it was His hand at work in what was coming.
Third, when Ahab had Micaiah hauled away his mind was already made up. He was going into battle and nothing Micaiah said would stop him. He also still had confidence in his own abilities to come out on top in this battle. His ‘battle tactics’ will show his cracks in his belief though. But that is, again, a story for another day.
And finally, did you notice that God didn’t have a single word to say about Jehoshaphat? He isn’t told if he will have success, will be killed, or survive this conflict. He isn’t mentioned at all. What does this do for his confidence? How does he reconcile this with going into battle with Ahab, who he now knows will fall? ‘Time will tell’.
Father God, I know You can use ANYTHING in Your plans. You even used Satan’s forces and told them they would be successful. I PRAY I listen better to Your angels and Your word so You won’t need to get my attention through evil forces! I never want to be so hard headed or hard hearted that it takes demons to get my attention.
Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.