Scripture reading – 1 Kings 21; 1 Kings 22

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1 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18 are parallel accounts of the same historical events. The focus of this bonus devotional is 1 Kings 22.

1 Kings 21 concluded with Elijah’s prophesying that King Ahab and his wife Jezebel would suffer alarming deaths for murdering Naboth for his vineyard (21:17-24). Hearing the prophecy of his death, Ahab humbled himself, and God mercifully spared him for a season (21:27-29).

1 Kings 22 – The Tragic Death of King Ahab

1 Kings 22 is the climax of King Ahab’s reign over Israel.  Three years passed since Syria and Israel warred (22:1), and in the third year, Jehoshaphat, the godly king of Judah, visited Ahab, who enquired if Judah would be Israel’s ally and go to war against Syria (22:2-4).

Ahab was wounded in battle.

You might wonder what motive Judah would have to be Israel’s ally. That answer is revealed when we read, “Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people” (22:4). You see, Jehoshaphat and Ahab had become family through the marriage of Jehoshaphat’s son with Ahab’s daughter (2 Kings 8:16-18).

Evidencing the judgment of a wise king, Jehoshaphat desired the LORD’s direction before going to battle and requested, “Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day” (22:5).

Ahab complied with Jehoshaphat’s request and gathered nearly four hundred of his prophets. Those prophets, no doubt to please the king, prophesied the LORD would give Israel and Judah victory over the king of Syria (22:6). Godly Jehoshaphat, however, was not satisfied and enquired further if there was not another prophet in Israel, one who had not compromised himself with Ahab’s prophets (22:7).

Ahab acknowledged there was another prophet whose name was “Micaiah the son of Imlah” (22: 8). The king of Israel, however, confessed, “I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (22:8).

Complying with Jehoshaphat’s request, Ahab sent a servant to invite Micaiah to prophesy. That servant, however, warned the prophet that the other prophets were of “one mouth: [and he demanded] let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good” (22:13).

Ahab was mortally wounded in battle and died in his chariot.

In a twist of irony, Micaiah prophesied precisely what Ahab wanted to hear (22:15). The king, however, rebuked the prophet and demanded, “How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which istrue in the name of the LORD?” (22:16).

Micaiah then prophesied how Ahab would die, and Israel would be “scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd” (22:17).  Acknowledging his self-fulfilling sentiment, Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, “Did I not tell thee that he [the prophet Micaiah] would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?” (22:18).

Micaiah’s prophesy proved accurate, and Ahab was mortally wounded in battle and died in his chariot (22:34-35). The prophecy of Elijah was then fulfilled, for in the place Naboth had been murdered, Ahab’s blood was washed from his chariot, and “the dogs licked up his blood” (22:38; note 21:19).

Closing thought –


Ahab had been reluctant to invite Micaiah to prophesy because he said, I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil(22:8).

I fear that is the sentiment and malady of most ministries today. Pulpits of once-thriving churches and Bible colleges are filled by preachers who soft-pedal God’s Word. Many have become like Ahab, who gathered prophets willing to lie and tell the king what he wanted to hear. Few believers, like King Jehoshaphat, ask, “Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides?” (22:7).

Warning: Dismiss the clarion call of bold, faithful preachers, and you invite your demise.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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