1 Kings 22:13-28

Micaiah Predicts Defeat

13 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I shall speak.”

15 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he [e]answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 So he said,

“I saw all Israel
Scattered on the mountains,
Like sheep which have no shepherd.
And the Lord said, ‘These have no master.
Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”

18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”

19 [f]Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 20 The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’ 23 Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.”

24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.” 26 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son; 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him [g]sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”’” 28 Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”

One of the most incredible things here is that Ahab knew when Micaiah was lying. Perhaps Micaiah tipped his hand a little bit, and perhaps Ahab detected a bit of sarcasm on his voice. But either way, he knew that when Micaiah said they should go to Ramoth-Gilead, that it wasn’t from the Lord.

So Micaiah gives Ahab the real message, and Ahab isn’t happy still, because he really had his heart set on Ramoth-Gilead. But Micaiah isn’t finished. He backs up his message with a story of how all the other prophets were deceived. And when Zedekiah challenges Micaiah, he puts it all on the line.

After all this, Ahab puts Micaiah in prison because he dared to tell the truth. Now, I’m sure Micaiah could have done a better job lying. He could have listened to the messenger and delivered a favorable message that Ahab would believe. But he didn’t fear Ahab, and so he told the truth. His respect and fear of God was greater even than his fear of the king.

That is a remarkable feat, for who among us can easily put aside our fear of what “other people will think”, and do what God asks us to do regardless? Yet that is what God asks of us. To be unswayed by popular opinion, unwavering in our conviction that God’s way is right, and that He alone is worthy of our honor and “fear”. Even more, that God has our best interests at heart, and will not lead us astray.

Will you be like Micaiah, standing firm in the face of adversity? It may be difficult, but it will most definitely be worth the struggle.

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