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11. King Ahab’s Exploits-Part 3

October 12, 2010

Text:    I Kings 22:1-40

Harmony Text:            II Chronicles 18:1-34

Outline:           I.     Ahab’s Wish                                            I Kings 22:1-14

II.    Ahab’s Inquiry                                      I Kings 22:15-29

III.  Ahab’s Deceit                                          I Kings 22:30-31

IV.  Ahab’s Death and Defeat                     I Kings 22:32-40

Context/Discussion/Comments:

There has been three years of peace between Israel and Aram and now Ahab wants to take back Ramoth Gilead and the surrounding territory on the east side of the Jordan River, areas which originally belonged to Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh after the Exodus.  Ahab asks Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to help him fight Aram.  Jehoshaphat asks Ahab to seek the Lord’s counsel before he agrees to help.  So Ahab gathers together 400 prophets [most likely those who agreed with him, Baal worshippers] and they all say “go to war”.  Jehoshaphat asks Ahab to inquire through a prophet of the Lord.  Ahab resists because Micaiah never has anything good to say.  He eventually agrees and summons Micaiah.

Ahab and Jehoshaphat were together at Samaria [they were one in nationality and one through marriage in that Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram married Ahab’s daughter] and all the prophets are encouraging Ahab and Jehoshaphat to go to war, including Zedekiah.  They were trying to influence Micaiah to say the same thing.  But Micaiah is influenced by the Lord and not the prophets.  Ahab asks Micaiah for the Lord’s counsel and interestingly it comes back the same as all the other prophets.  Ahab doesn’t believe him and asks for further detail [see the Chronicles account].  Micaiah then reveals the full prophecy, the fact that Ahab is not a leader and that God has numbered his days by using the war with Aram to accomplish His will.  In fact, God has put a lying spirit in the prophets mouths and sealed the lie with Micaiah’ prophecy.  Ahab orders Micaiah escorted back to his home and put in prison until Ahab returns safely in victory.  Micaiah prophesies that if Ahab returns he has spoken falsely.

Jehoshaphat somehow is convinced to help Ahab and they take their armies to Ramoth Gilead to fight Aram.  Ahab has concern for Micaiah’s prophecy and tells Jehoshaphat to go into battle wearing his royal robe while he goes into battle in disguise.  The king of Aram tells his soldiers not to fight the soldiers but to focus their attack on the king of Israel.  This leave Jehoshaphat vulnerable.  In fact Aram’s soldiers see Jehoshaphat and think he is the king of Israel.  But Jehoshaphat cries out and God protects him. They evidently know that Ahab’s voice is different. The soldiers begin searching for Ahab and one of Aram’s archers randomly selects a soldier, fires his arrow, and hits Ahab.  Ahab continues to fight but he bleeds to death by day’s end and Israel returns home defeated.

Ahab is buried in Samaria where he was known for building an extravagant palace and fortifying their cities.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Always look to the Lord for guidance and avoid those who refuse to consult the Lord.
  2. When God is calling your number there is nothing you can do to prevent or circumvent His Will.
  3. One’s desires may be noble but even noble desires are to be brought before the Lord God to verify His Will.
  4. Noble desires/wishes usually have majority consensus but it may be only lip service for fear of disagreement and punishment.
  5. God sometimes uses unorthodox methods to accomplish His Divine Will.
  6. It is always wise to double check your decisions with a known man of God.  God not only guides us when we ask, He also assures us.
  7. It is never wise to partner with a person who doesn’t honor or acknowledge the sovereignty of the Lord God.  It is a formula for unexpected disaster.  See II Cor. 6:14-16.
  8. God’s sovereignty will always trump man’s decisions based on deceit.  Respect and true leadership is the result of  being truthful.
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