(Today's post by Keith Senator)
1 KINGS 22
Have you ever thought of doing something significant, and instead of asking the Lord for wisdom you go around and ask peers? I mean I think it happens all the time. We may not want to really embrace the idea, but what is that?
In 1 Kings 22, we see Ahab wanting to go to war with Romoth Gilead. There has been no war for 3 years. When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) about going to war, he ultimately said I am sure you will win, but first seek the counsel of the Lord. This is some awesome advice.
Instead of seeking the Lord though, he gather all the prophets (400) and asked them their opinion. Overwhelmingly, the sided with the king, “Go”, they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king's hand”.
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “there is one prophet we can injure from, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.” He is Micaiah son of Imlah. Again, Johoshaphat was wise in saying the king should not say things like that.
Micaiah was summoned, he was tipped off by the messenger what all of the other prophets were saying and urged him to follow the same cant. In verse 14, he says, “But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” But when asked, he said to attack and be victorious, just like the others. The king saw right through it and said, don't lie to me, what is it.
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’” 18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?” 19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ 23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophetsof yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah and said basically how dare you and how did the Spirit give me something different than you?
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’” 28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” Well, what can you say, Micaiah was correct, and the rest of them were dead wrong. The king was killed in battle. And his son Ahaziah, succeeded him as king.
Jehoshaphat was king of judah, he reigned for 25 years, his exploits were not recorded, he built a fleet of ships that were never deployed. king Ahaziah asked to join Jehosaphat in a sea voyage to Ophir for gold, but he refused. Jehosaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, his father.
Ahaziah, son of Ahab, king of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord because he followed the ways of his father and mother and son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. He served and worshipped Baal, just as his father had done.
We are moving through time very quickly. This chapter may be a 40 year time span. There is a lot that has happened. We just read it, yawn, and say…what idiots, don't they know to follow God? Don't they know that God is the only one that matters? How hard is it to just do what he says?
I know from experience, easier said than done. Oh the distractions we have in this world we live in. The overarching theme to me here is that we birth a desire, get a lot of people to agree with us, and fail. Somehow we feel justified in the process because we were able to manipulate all of the people and they all agreed. But we know, we know the difference.
There is a narrow road, and then there is a broad road.