Summary: Seek the truth with sincerity, speak the truth with integrity, and stand by the truth with courage.
This passage is now the third in the series of Ahab’s encounters with the Word of God.
• From chapters 20-22 the author recounted some incidents when the King was confronted by the Word of God.
• The Lord has not rejected Ahab (yet) even though he has been stubborn and unbelieving.
The first incident in chapter 20 was when King Ben-Hadad of Aram wanted to invade his palace in Samaria.
• God sent an unnamed prophet and gave him words of promise, caution and assurance. With the Lord’s help he won the battle with Aram, twice.
• But he did not kill his enemy. Instead, at the end of it all, he made a treaty with Ben-Hadad and let him go. He disobeyed God.
The second incident in chapter 21 we see Ahab seizing Naboth’s vineyard. Elijah brought God’s Word of judgment against him for killing an innocent man.
• Ahab (again) was given the chance to response to God’s Word, which he did but just for a moment.
• God showed him mercy and delayed His judgement.
Now in chapter 22, we have the third incident of Ahab’s encounter with God’s Word.
• We are going to see (yet again) Ahab’s unwillingness to believe the Word of God.
• It’s not that God has not spoken; Ahab has chosen NOT to believe His Word.
READ 1 Kings 22:1-9.
Ahab was in a discussion with his officials about retaking Ramoth-gilead. See MAP.
• King Jehosphaphat from JUDAH (S) came visiting. They are in-laws – Jehoshaphat’s son (Jehoram) was married to Ahab’s daughter (Athaliah).
• Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in the war to regain Ramoth-gilead.
• Jehoshaphat said, “No problem with that, but first, let us seek God in this matter.” So Ahab brought in his prophets – 400 of them.
• Quite clearly, they are all his YES men. They approved the idea unanimously.
Jehoshaphat sensed something wasn’t right. Perhaps it was too neat.
• He asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?" (22:7)
• Ahab: “Yes, there’s one more, but I don’t like him. He never says anything good about me.”
This is clearly a wrong criteria to judge a prophet. A prophet speaks the Word of God. He speaks the truth that God reveals to him. He says what God says.
• It is not about saying “anything good about me” (borrowing Ahab’s words in v.8). It has nothing to do with what is good or bad but what is TRUE.
• Why would you want someone to say something good about you when it is untrue? Like “You look pretty today, when there is this dirt mark on your face!” The good and most caring words to say is, “You need to wash your face!”
• Ahab is self-deceived. He wants these prophets to rubber-stamp his decision.
SEEK THE TRUTH
• Not what we like to hear, not what we wish to hear.
• If Ahab heeds God’s Word, it will save his life, and the lives of many of his men.
• The truth is good! It may not “sounds good” to you but it is good for you.
• We need to see the GOODNESS of the truth of God and SEEK to obey it.
READ 1 Kings 22:10-18.
Against all odds, God still has His faithful prophet to speak the truth and warn Ahab.
• This again is the mercy of God. In the midst of 400 corrupted prophets God still has a faithful servant within Ahab’s courts to provide that solitary LIGHT he needs.
• In fact, from the comments Ahab made in verses 8, 16 and 18 (his comment to Jehoshaphat), it seems like Micaiah has spoken to Ahab many times.
Ahab wasn’t deprived of the truth. He was not cut off from the Word of God.
• His downfall was caused, not because of a LACK of truth but by the REJECTION of the truth.
• God has said all that He needs to say, through His prophets, over the course of his reign. God did not forsake him despite his unbelieving heart. He has forsaken God.
• God has been reaching out to him, again and again, repeatedly telling him what he does not want to hear.
The setting helps us see the great pressure and stress that Micaiah was put through. He has to go against the united voice of the establishment.
• Facing two kings dressed in their royal robes and seated on their thrones.
• With Zedekiah (leader) and his group of prophets prophesying their propaganda.
• Even the messenger is worried and urges Micaiah to follow the crowd and “speak favourably” (22:13). Say what they like to hear.
Micaiah’s response was: “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” (22:14) That’s a true prophet of God.