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Bible Pathways - April 30, 2005

April 30


Read I Kings 21 -- 22


In Today's Reading:


The covetousness of Ahab; Jezebel murders Naboth; death of Ahab and Jezebel foretold


A hab ruled the northern kingdom of Israel from his capital 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 also 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 (see 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 can proclaim 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).


Word Studies:


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.


Christ Portrayed:


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 has taught Me, I speak these things (John 8:28; see also 12:49-50).


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. John A. Hash · Government Official: Rep. Robert Scott (VA) · Country: Turkmenistan (4 million) southwestern central Asia · Major languages: Turkmen and Russian · Religious freedom: 76% Muslim; 6% Russian/Armenian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Forgive others without exception, and then ask the Lord to forgive you (Matthew 6:12).


Optional Reading: Romans 3


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:18

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