First Kings 22 Commentary
Ahab’s tenure comes to an end at Ramoth Gilead, and so does his career of sin and idolatry. Interestingly, he dies in battle against Aram, against a nation whose king he had unadvisedly forgiven.
Looking at Ahab’s many direct interactions with the LORD, and had these interactions via many prophets been peaceful, he would easily top the list of the most blessed in Christendom. Instead, Ahab would go in history as a man with most warnings and most judgments directly delivered to him by several prophets. The prophet Micaiah’s warning in this chapter is just one of the many that the prophet must have delivered to the King. It is a fact that the king publicly denounces Micaiah for.
One is tempted to think of Ahab’s religion as one of the dumb, by the dumb, and for the dumb. An intelligent man should have nothing to do with it. Ahab assembles 400 men to prophesy his wishes. What vanity! It is so cheap that even King Jehoshaphat begins to question Ahab’s rationality. Definitely, there should be some prophet of the LORD somewhere, instead of these hired, good-for-nothing cheerleaders. That is how Micaiah comes into the picture.
Ahab’s response to Micaiah’s prophecy is typical of men in his position. They gather men and women who can only tell them want they want to hear. There is a good reason why the saint must begin to question their stay in a church whose sermons never wound them. Is the word correcting you? An Ahab spirit hates anything that points them to righteousness and loves anything that feeds their egos.
The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah urged him to lie like the other thug-prophets. The stage is set for today’s TV shows where prophecy and miracles are manufactured to mislead the people. Ahab’s religion is still very much active. You fake miracles; you fake the word; you fake testimonies. But the LORD has the final say. His judgment isn’t fake. So Ahab dies and his son Ahaziah succeeds him as king. Ahaziah is the subject of Second Kings Chapter 1.
Strangely, it is during this time of near-complete apostasy that the LORD preserves men and women with very strong faith. Because of her faith in the LORD, the unnamed woman at Zarephath is miraculously cared for. The company of prophets, most likely led by Elijah, stands up for truth and is ready to confront King Ahab. How the LORD wants to shine through the remnant! The times of increased institutionalized idolatry; the times of legalized sin; are times when the LORD gifts the remnant with very strong faith. We really want to be one of them.
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