Micaiah Warns Ahab
(2 Chronicles 18.2-27)
1For the next three years there was peace between Israel and Syria. 2During the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel.
3Ahab asked his officials, “Why haven't we tried to get Ramoth in Gilead back from the Syrians? It belongs to us.” 4Then he asked Jehoshaphat, “Would you go to Ramoth with me and attack the Syrians?”
“Just tell me what to do,” Jehoshaphat answered. “My army and horses are at your command. 5But first, let's ask the Lord.”
Ahab Dies at Ramoth
(2 Chronicles 18.28-34)
29Ahab and Jehoshaphat led their armies to Ramoth in Gilead. 30Before they went into battle, Ahab said, “Jehoshaphat, I'll disguise myself, but you wear your royal robe.” Then Ahab disguised himself and went into battle.
31The king of Syria had ordered his 32 chariot commanders to attack only Ahab. 32So when they saw Jehoshaphat in his robe, they thought he was Ahab and started to attack him. But when Jehoshaphat shouted out to them, 33they realized he wasn't Ahab, and they left him alone.
34However, during the fighting a soldier shot an arrow without even aiming, and it hit Ahab where two pieces of his armor joined. He shouted to his chariot driver, “I've been hit! Get me out of here!”
35The fighting lasted all day, with Ahab propped up in his chariot so he could see the Syrian troops. He bled so much that the bottom of the chariot was covered with blood, and by evening he was dead.
36As the sun was going down, someone in Israel's army shouted to the others, “Retreat! Go back home!”
37Ahab's body was taken to Samaria and buried there. 38Some workers washed his chariot near a spring in Samaria, and prostitutes washed themselves in his blood. Dogs licked Ahab's blood off the ground, just as the Lord had warned.
39Everything else Ahab did while he was king, including the towns he strengthened and the palace he built and furnished with ivory, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became king.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah
(2 Chronicles 20.31—21.1)
41Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in Ahab's fourth year as king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king, and he ruled from Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
43-46Jehoshaphat obeyed the Lord, just as his father Asa had done, and during his rule he was at peace with the king of Israel.
He got rid of the rest of the prostitutes from the local shrines, but he did not destroy the shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.
Everything else Jehoshaphat did while he was king, including his brave deeds and military victories, is written in The History of the Kings of Judah.
47The country of Edom had no king at the time, so a lower official ruled the land.
48Jehoshaphat had seagoing ships built to sail to Ophir for gold. But they were wrecked at Ezion-Geber and never sailed. 49Ahaziah son of Ahab offered to let his sailors go with Jehoshaphat's sailors, but Jehoshaphat refused.
50Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Jehoram became king.
King Ahaziah of Israel
51Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat's rule in Judah, and he ruled two years from Samaria.
52Ahaziah disobeyed the Lord, just as his father, his mother, and Jeroboam had done. They all led Israel to sin. 53Ahaziah worshiped Baal and made the Lord God of Israel very angry, just as his father had done.
Ahab was a firsthand witness of the power of God at Mount Carmel and the recipient of God’s mercy after he’d murdered Naboth and his sons. You’d think that would be more than enough for Ahab to devote himself wholly to the Lord. But he didn’t. He surrounded himself with 400 pseudo-prophets and looked to them exclusively for guidance.
True prophets proclaim the Word of God and nothing but the Word. They have no choice about what they prophesy. They’re constrained by the Spirit to only say what God tells them to say (compare 1 Kings 22:14). But Ahab didn’t know this. In his heathen understanding of prophecy he naively thought that the prophets’ words, in and of themselves, carried the means to bring a blessing or a curse (If this were so, then prophecy would be ruled by the prophets and not by the Lord).
Acting on the guidance of the 400 pseudo-prophets Ahab attacks the king of Aram. Micaiah, the true prophet, had prophesied disaster (1 Kings 22:23), so to cover his bases Ahab enters the battle in disguise. But the number of our days is decided by God (compare Job 14:5). Ahab is hit by a “random” arrow and mortally wounded. After he’s buried the dogs lick up the blood on the floor of his chariot. The prophecies of the Lord’s prophets are fulfilled. God’s Word, not the words of the pseudo-prophets, are proven true.
Tragically, many people today listen to pseudo-prophets. Do not be deceived. False prophecy leads to despair and death. So “watch out for false prophets!” (Matthew 7:15). If someone’s advice or counsel doesn’t line up with God’s Word, it’s not true. And if it’s not true, it’s not for you!
Lord give me discernment, and the knowledge of your Word to know what is right and true. In the name of Jesus. Amen.