Judgment on Ahab
Open Your Bible
1 Kings 20:1-43, 1 Kings 21:1-29, 1 Kings 22:1-53, Psalm 103:20-22
BY Guest Writer
Confession: I am a people-pleaser, which means I often put people on the throne of my life when, in reality, that is God’s rightful place. I know this truth, but I still fall into worrying about what people think of me, my words, and my actions.
But people-pleasing was apparently not much of an issue for the prophet Micaiah, who was perfectly fine with upsetting evil King Ahab—he only wanted to please and honor God. Ahab isn’t too fond of Micaiah’s prophesying, admitting to Jehosophat, “There is still one man who can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster” (1 Kings 22:8).
Knowing this to be true, Ahab’s servant “who went to call Micaiah instructed him, ‘Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably’” (v.13). The messenger wanted the Lord’s prophet to choose to side with the majority, to make things easy. But to Micaiah, the choice was not his to make. “As the LORD lives,” he says, “I will say whatever the LORD says to me” (v.14).
Ahab called four hundred prophets to assure him he would be victorious in battle—four hundred prophets who had been instructed by a lying, evil spirit to tell King Ahab what he wanted to hear: that he would be successful (vv.20–23). But Jehosophat, the king of Judah who’d been witness to all of this, did not trust them, which is why he’d asked to see “a prophet of the LORD” in the first place (v.7).
Upon his arrival, “Micaiah told him, ‘March up and succeed. The LORD will hand it over to the king”—a message Ahab doesn’t believe because he doesn’t like the messenger (vv.15–16). And that’s when the Lord allows Micaiah to pull back the curtain to reveal Ahab’s true fate: “You see, the LORD has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has pronounced disaster against you” (vv.17,19–23). But Ahab does not listen, and he dies in battle (vv.29–38).
Micaiah stood against the word of four hundred other prophets. He spoke the truth boldly to Ahab, who hated him. And he declared before them all, “I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and the whole heavenly army was standing by him at his right hand and at his left hand” (1 Kings 22:19). Micaiah chose to be obedient to the Lord who is enthroned above all kingdoms and rulers, all powers and principalities (Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 6:12; 1:20–23).
This is our reality as well, even when we choose to put someone or something else on the throne of our lives, elevating them above Him in our hearts. The truth of who God is does not change. He still graciously pursues us, drawing us into repentance, offering His mercy again and again, even in the midst of our sin (Romans 5:8). The one who has power over all shows compassion to those who fear Him (Psalm 103:12–13). “Bless the LORD, all his works in all the places where he rules. My soul, bless the LORD!” (v.22)
Kimberly Girard is a well-loved child of God, wife of an extraordinary man, mother of three amazing kids, and writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find her at Loud Singing and on Twitter.