In 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18, we find Ahab king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah meeting together for battle against the Syrians. Ahab was one of the most ungodly kings that Israel had ever had. Jehoshaphat was one of the godlier kings that Judah had. So it is interesting that these two had decided to work together.
Yet they met together, and Jehoshaphat wanted to ask God if they should go to battle or not. So Ahab gathered four hundred prophets and asked if he should go to battle. All four hundred said that he should go to battle because he would win. One of the prophets even brought a visual aid, holding up iron horns and saying that, “With these you’ll push Syria until they’re consumed.”
But Jehoshaphat wasn’t sure and asked if there were any more prophets of the Lord besides these. This makes me think that maybe he already knew something was wrong with this arrangement. Four hundred prophets had said that God would give Syria into their hands, but the king of Judah still had his doubts.
So Ahab said that there was one other man by which to ask the Lord. This man’s name was Micaiah. But Ahab pointed out that this man never prophesied good concerning him, only evil. But Jehoshaphat told the king not to say that and Ahab sent for Micaiah. The messenger sent to get Micaiah told him that he should prophesy good like the other four hundred. Micaiah said that he would only say what God told him to say. So he went to the kings.
Ahab asked him if he should go to battle with the Syrians. Micaiah said that he should go up and God would deliver the Syrians into his hands. It seems by this time Ahab also knew something was wrong, if only because suddenly Micaiah was saying something “good.” So Ahab insisted that Micaiah tell him the truth. So he told the truth: “I saw Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These have no master, let them each go back home in peace.'”
So Ahab was angry. He turned to Jehoshaphat and said, “See? I told you he doesn’t prophesy good to me, only evil!”
Micaiah continued to speak. He told the kings that he had seen the Lord’s throne and all the hosts of Heaven around Him. God had asked who would deceive, or entice, Ahab to fight with the Syrians so that he would be killed in battle. Some said one thing some said another, but then a spirit came and said he would be a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets. So God said to go.
So Ahab and one of the other prophets got angry, and I can only imagine how uncomfortable the situation was for everyone. Ahab sent Micaiah to be imprisoned, and both kings went to battle anyway! But just to be safe, Ahab told Jehoshaphat that he would go to battle disguised, but Jehoshaphat should not go in disguise.
But when God speaks His purpose, you can’t change it by putting on a disguise. When the Syrians saw Jehoshaphat they thought he was Ahab. But God helped Jehoshaphat and the Syrians realized he wasn’t Ahab. In the meantime another of the Syrians was firing an arrow from a bow that “happened” to hit Ahab, wounding him mortally. He died as the sun went down.
There are a lot of things to gather from this account. Tell me something you learned.