Read I & II Kings 21 -- 22
In Today's Reading:
The covetousness of Ahab leads Jezebel to murder Naboth; death of Ahab and Jezebel foretold
Ahab ruled the northern kingdom of Israel where his capital was the city of Samaria. His evil, wasted life is summed up in just a few words: There was none like . . . Ahab, which did sell himself to work (do) wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up (incited). And he did very abominably (behaved in a very vile, detestable manner) in following idols (I Kings 21:25-26).
Ahab invited Jehoshaphat, his daughter's father-in-law who was the king of Judah, to join him in a war to regain Ramoth-gilead, a strategic fortress on the Syrian border. Four hundred of Ahab's paid prophets unanimously assured the two kings of a great victory. But godly Jehoshaphat must have felt uneasy and asked Ahab: Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him? (22:7). Reluctantly, Ahab replied: There is yet one man, Micaiah . . . by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil (22:8).
The messenger, who was sent to bring Micaiah from prison, spoke to him, saying . . . let your word, I pray you, be like the word of one of them (Ahab's prophets), and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that will I speak (22:13-14). If Micaiah had cooperated no doubt he would have immediately gained his freedom. But Micaiah knew that obedience to God was far more important than his freedom, so he courageously proclaimed: I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd (22:17).
Micaiah had bluntly foretold Ahab's death. And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell you that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? (22:18). He then ordered Micaiah to be taken back to prison. God proved the obedient prophet correct when Ahab was killed on the first day of battle (22:34,37).
The tragic consequences of Ahab's disregard for the Word of God should be a warning to all who are making the same fatal mistake. In contrast, a follower of Christ can experience unlimited peace of mind and express with the psalmist: I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved (Psalm 16:8).
21:27 went softly = went subdued; 22:3 be still = do nothing; 22:10 void = open, perhaps a threshing floor; 22:11 push = gore; 22:13 one mouth = unanimously; 22:16 adjure = put you under oath, make you swear; 22:34 at a venture = randomly, without specific aim; harness = armor; 22:48 broken = wrecked.
By Micaiah, who would say only what God instructed him to say (I Kings 22:14). Jesus faithfully told others everything God told Him to say. Then said Jesus to them . . . I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things (John 8:28; see also 12:49-50).
The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. John A. Hash · Government Official: Rep. Robert Scott (VA) · Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant; 1% Muslim; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord when in despair; He is your deliverer (Jonah 2:5-6).
Optional Reading: Romans 3
Memory Verse for the Week: John 6:63