1 Kings 21-22 part 14

 

In tonightís lesson we are will continue to look at the events that takes place in Elijahís, Ahabís and Jezebelís life. We will also be introduced to a new prophet called Micaiah and the new King of Judah Jehoshaphat. Lets begin in,

 

1 Kings 21:1 And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.2 So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, "Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money."3 But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!"4 So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.

 

Here we see that Ahab sees the beautiful vineyard that is close to his house and we wants. Now starts out doing the honorable thing by trying to trade Naboth a better vineyard than his. But, he did not want to do this because this vineyard had been in family for many years. We can all relate to this because we may have a family heirloom that is worth a lot of money but we would not sell it because it has so much sentimental value. This is the same reason why Naboth doesnít want to sell his vineyard. Next Ahab acts like young and pouts because he didnít get what he wanted. This is why Ahab has been labeled the pouting king.

 

1 Kings 21: 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, "Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?"6 He said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.' "7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him, "You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."

 

Now I know that wives are suppose to be supportive for the husbands but this wicked women is one of the reason why Ahab ends up doing many of the evil things that he does. She basically fans the flame for the evil. Notice what she does to get the vineyard for her husband.

 

1 Kings 21:8 And she wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth.9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people;10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, "You have blasphemed God and the king." Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.11 So the men of his city, the elders and nobles who were inhabitants of his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them.12 They proclaimed a fast, and seated Naboth with high honor among the people.13 And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, "Naboth has blasphemed God and the king!" Then they took him outside the city and stoned him with stones, so that he died.14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, "Naboth has been stoned and is dead."15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead."16 So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

 

Here we Jezebel overstepping her position and she forges a document to bring about the death of Naboth. Now the people of the city honored what they thought was Ahabís request. This was certainly a rotten and evil deed because they make Naboth feel like an honored man and while he is feeling good about himself 2 worthless men come and accuse him of blaspheming God and then he drug out of the city and stoned to death. Can you imagine the range of emotion that Naboth was going through? Well, as promised Jezebel made it to where Ahab could get his desires fulfilled as the price of Naboth life. When Ahab went to admire his new possession his joy wouldnít last long as we are about to see as we continue on in,

 

1 Kings 21: 17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,18 "Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who lives in Samaria. There he is, in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to take possession of it.19 "You shall speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "Have you murdered and also taken possession?" ' And you shall speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours." ' "

 

This shows us that no evil deed escapes the eyes of our Lord. We need to realize this today. I think some get the idea that if no one knows about the sin they are doing then they are getting away with it. But, that is not the case because God knows and even if we donít have any consequences from our sins while we live on this earth I can promise you that we will face the consequences of them on the day of judgment.

 

1 Kings 21:20 So Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" And he answered, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD:21 'Behold, I will bring calamity on you. I will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free.22 'I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and made Israel sin.'23 "And concerning Jezebel the LORD also spoke, saying, 'The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.'24 "The dogs shall eat whoever belongs to Ahab and dies in the city, and the birds of the air shall eat whoever dies in the field."

Once again Ahab and Elijah meet up and once again Ahab has something negative to say as he calls Elijah his enemy. I am reminded of what Paul said once in,

 

Galatians 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

 

Elijah wasnít Ahabís enemy all he was doing was telling him the truth. There are many people today that have this same attitude because when you point out how they are living in sin according to Godís Word and they donít want to change their ways they will consider you as their enemy as well. What they donít realize and what Ahab doesnít realize is that we are simply being their friends and we are trying to get them right with God. Even though God was condemning Ahab and his wife to death they had the opportunity to repent and appeal to Godís mercy just as every person today has the opportunity to make their lives right with God as long as they are still living. I also want to point that even though Jezebel was the one that put together this scheme Ahab was just as responsible because he stood by while his wife worked her magic to bring about his desires for the vineyard.Notice what happens next.

 

1 Kings 21: 25 But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.26 And he behaved very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.27 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning.28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,29 "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house."

 

Our text tells us what I stated earlier that Jezebel was always stirring up Ahab to do evil things. Now we need to remember that God knows our hearts and so he knew that Ahab at this moment had truly repented for what he had done and because of this God had mercy on him and puts off his fate until a later time. Now think about this, if God will have mercy on someone who is labeled as the most wicked king that ever lived at that point then surely we can see that no matter how sinful we may be that if we repent we can know that God will have mercy on us and he will forgive us our sins.

 

As we enter into chapter 22 I want to note that these same events are also recorded for us in 2 Chron. 18. Since these accounts differ in detail I am going to blend them together as you will see on the screen. 2 Chron will be in yellow and 1 Kings will be in white. On this paper2 Chron will be normal and 1 kings will italicized.

 

2 Chronicles 18:1 Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and by marriage he allied himself with Ahab.

2 Then it came to pass, in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went down to visit the king of Israel.

and Ahab killed sheep and oxen in abundance for him and the people who were with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead.
3 And the king of Israel said to his servants, "Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, but we hesitate to take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?" 4 So he said to Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." 5 Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Please inquire for the word of the LORD today." 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?" So they said, "Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king."

7 And Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?" 8 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." And Jehoshaphat said, "Let not the king say such things!"

 

Now be taken a closer look a Jehoshaphat next week but we do learn that he joins himself with Ahab by marriage and decides to work with him to help him get back Ramoth Gilead. We find out that Elijah isnít the only prophet of God that Ahab doesnít like because he doesnít care for Micaiah either. Now I donít know for sure who these 400 prophet were that he called up. Its possible that it was the 400 prophets of Jezebel or it could be 400 new prophets that took the place of the 450 that Elijah killed earlier. In either case Jehoshaphat wanted to hear a word from a true prophet of God and so they call for Micaiah.

 

9 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, "Bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly!" 10 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, having put on their robes, sat each on his throne, at a threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 11 Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and he said, "Thus says the LORD: 'With these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed.' " 12 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, "Go up to Ramoth Gilead and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into the king's hand."

 

Again, these 400 false prophets are saying that they should go and fight the battle.

 

13 Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, "Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Please, let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement." 14 And Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak."

 

Here the messenger is trying to influence Micaiah to go with crowd because surely 400 prophets canít be wrong. There are a lot Christians today and those that call themselves Christians that fall into this type of a trap. Instead of standing their ground on what Godís word says they will cave in and accept whatever the majority says but Micaiah wasnít going to do this because he was determined to speak Godís truth even if it meant going against the 400.

 

15 Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?" And he answered him, "Go and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king!" 16 So the king said to him, "How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?" 17 Then he said, "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 house in peace.' " 18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?"

 

In our previous text Micaiah just said that he would not go along with the other prophets but simply speak what the Lord told him to say. So, why here in the beginning is saying exactly what the prophets did? Well, the only thing that makes sense to me is that Micaiah was being a smarty pants and Ahab knew it. Since we cant tell from the text how Micaiah was saying this or what body language he was using we cant say this for sure but it certainly seems to be the case because why else would Ahab ask him to tell the truth? Then he tells Ahab the truth and Ahab understood this saying was not good for him just as he predicted. Now Micaiah continues on.

 

1 Kings 22:19 Then Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left.20 "And the LORD said, 'Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?' So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.21 "Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, 'I will persuade him.'22 "The LORD said to him, 'In what way?' So he said, 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And the LORD said, 'You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.'23 "Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you."

 

Now here I was I consider a very difficult text and very interesting one at the same time. Many people have had different explanations of this text. For instance some have suggested that God sent this lying spirit to override the free will of these prophets. Some have said that this lying spirit was either one of God angles or the devil himself. However, I do not agree with any of these and the reason why is because when I approach any difficult text I approach it by using the whole council of God. First of we are told that God cannot lie Heb. 6:18; Titus 1:2. However we are told that the devil is the father of lies in John 8:44. In our test since the evil spirit said he would persuade this tell me that Ahab and the prophets could have resisted this lying spirit if they had chosen to do so. So, all I see here is another classic example of where God permitted this lying spirit to do his work on the prophets but that he did not force them to lie just like he didnít force the Pharaoh of Moses time to harden his heart. So, Micaiah used this vision to say that all 400 prophets were lying and that if he goes to battle it will end in disaster for Ahab.

 

 

1 Kings 22:24 Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go from me to speak to you?"25 And Micaiah said, "Indeed, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide!"

 

As we can Zedekiah didnít like what Micaiah was saying so struck him and mocked him but Micaiah informs him that he will see it when is running for his life.

 

1 Kings 22:26 So the king of Israel said, "Take Micaiah, and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son;27 "and say, 'Thus says the king: "Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and water of affliction, until I come in peace." ' "28 But Micaiah said, "If you ever return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, "Take heed, all you people!"

 

This is the same thing that happened to many of the people of the Bible. When they donít like the truth that is being taught they will lock the person up so they can shut them up. This same thing hold true today in sense because people will avoid you and despise you when you show that there is sin in their life or when you point out that the way they worship is not in accordance the word of God. In our text Micaiah makes it clear that Ahab is not going to make it back from the battle and if he does then Micaiah is a false prophet.

 

1 Kings 22:29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you put on your robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, "Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel."32 So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "Surely it is the king of Israel!" Therefore they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out.33 And it happened, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.

 

Well, Ahab decides to try is luck and enter into battle. Itís obvious that he believed what Micaiah said because he tries to disguise himself as ordinary solider thinking this would keep him from being killed. Since, Jehoshaphat was the only dressed like a king the people went after him first but when the saw that it wasnít Ahab they didnít kill him. Now watch what happens next.

 

1 Kings 22:34 Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded."35 The battle increased that day; and the king was propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians, and died at evening. The blood ran out from the wound onto the floor of the chariot.36 Then, as the sun was going down, a shout went throughout the army, saying, "Every man to his city, and every man to his own country!"37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria.38 Then someone washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood while the harlots bathed, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken.39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, the ivory house which he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?40 So Ahab rested with his fathers. Then Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

 

I think we can all agree that God had a hand in guiding this arrow that was shot a random as it severely wounded King Ahab. His disguise did not work because no one can hide from God no matter how much the change their appearance because he can see straight into our hearts and just as the prophets had proclaimed he did not make it back from battle and his blood was licked up by dogs.

 

From the lesson we can certainly see that no evil deed goes undone because we will all stand before God and be judged for what we have done. No matter how much you try to escape his wrath it simply will not happen. But unfortunately there are many people today who seem to think that they can do things better than God and the test him by worshiping him in ways he has not authorized and by teaching things that are not true and these people tell themselves that God is merciful and his grace will cover all but that simply is not true. Now I cannot draw a line where Godís grace and mercy reaches however based on Godís dealings with his people you can get a general idea that his grace and mercy is given to those who love him and who are striving to keep his commandments with out taking away from them or adding to them.