Highlights:

Jezebel murders to satisfy Ahab's coveting; Elijah foretells the death of Ahab and Jezebel (I Kin. 21:17-24) and it comes to pass (22:37-38; II Kin. 9:30-37); Jehoshaphat does right in the eyes of the Lord (22:43,46).Ahab's death foretold.

Near the end of Ahab's reign, a total of 40 verses is taken up with his death and the events that led to it. There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols (I Kings 21:25-26). God gave him a miraculous victory over the Syrian king Ben-hadad at Aphek (20:28-30). Although Ahab made no covenant with the Lord, he did make a covenant with Ben-hadad, his enemy, after defeating him, calling him my brother (20:32). Ahab released him with the assurance that Ben-hadad would return Ramoth-gilead, a strategic fortress near the border. But three years passed and it was still under Syrian control (22:1-3).

Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, had a son named Jehoram, who married Ahab’s daughter. Ahab invited Jehoshaphat to Samaria for a sumptuous banquet and then persuaded him to join him in war against Syria to regain Ramoth-gilead (II Chr. 18:1-3). Jehoshaphat immediately said he would. Then he had second thoughts and said: Enquire, I pray thee, at the Word of the Lord to day(I Kin. 22:5). Ahab had about four hundred prophets who all assured them of great victories (22:6). Still Jehoshaphat was uneasy and asked for a prophet of the Lord, and Ahab said: There is yet one man (22:8). That one was Micaiah, who courageously proclaimed: I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd (22:17).

Ahab hated Micaiah. Nevertheless, when they went to war, Ahab removed all his royal garments and disguised himself as a peasant soldier, assuming the Syrians would not recognize him. Thinking he could keep the battle turned toward Jehoshaphat, he encouraged Jehoshaphat to keep his royal robes on. Could he have been so evil as to think that if Jehoshaphat died in battle, Ahab's own daughter and son-in-law would rule Judah, which he could then control? However, Ahab failed to consider that he could not hide from God. He died on the first day of battle at Ramoth-gilead when a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness (22:34). His disguise made it all the more obvious that Ahab's death was by the hand of God (22:34-38).

Just as Ahab and Jehoshaphat fought in battle, so every Christian today faces a battle with satanic forces. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12).

Thought for Today:

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproah to any people (Prov. 14:34).

Christ Portrayed:

By Micaiah, who would say only what God instructed him to say (I Kin. 22:14). Jesus faithfully told others only what God told Him to say. Then said Jesus unto them... I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things (John 8:28; 12:49-50).

Word Studies:

21:27 softly, sadly, subdued; 22:3 be still, do nothing; 22:11 push, gore; 22:13 with one mouth, unanimously; 22:16 adjure thee, put you under oath; 22:34 at a venture, without specific aim; harness, armor; 22:48 broken, wrecked.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials:Rep. Robert C. Scott (VA) • Country: Canada (31 million) in North America • Major languages: English and French • Religious freedom • 47% Roman Catholic; 37% Protestant; 3% Eastern Orthodox; 2% cults; 1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself before the Lord (I Pet. 5:5-6).

Optional Reading: Romans 3

Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:35