1 Kings 22:1-28
1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel.
2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel.
3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, "Don't you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?"
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."
5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel of the LORD."
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets--about four hundred men--and asked them, "Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Go," they answered, "for the Lord will give it into the king's hand."
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?"
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king should not say that," Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, "Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once."
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, "This is what the LORD says: 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.'"
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."
14 But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
16 The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
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 host 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 lying 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 lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room."
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!"
Ahab - King of Israel and Jehoshaphat - King of Judah met together for political reasons. They wanted to attack the King of Aram and get Ramoth Gilead.
Ahab asked King Jehoshaphat to help; but he wanted to get the counsel of God first. That is where 400 prophets of Ahab and the sole prophet of the Lord, Micaiah come into the picture .This is what Ahab spoke about Micaiah:
I Kings 22:8 - The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can enquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.
Here in this passage, we see that Micaiah the prophet of God and 400 lying prophets. The Kings of Israel and Judah wanted to know whether they will win in the war against King of Aram. All the 400 prophets of Ahab said what the king liked to hear, but Micaiah said what the Lord wanted. Though he was compelled by others to speak favourably, he didn't compromise. He could have avoided taking risk by telling a small lie, but he kept holding on to the truth.
For telling the truth, Micaiah was slapped by Zedekiah. He was put in prison, but still he stood as a man of God. He didn't please others or himself but God.
Are you the man/woman of God in your family, office or society? Do you speak what God wants to you to speak? Ahab didn't like Micaiah, because he didn't say what the King liked to hear. Do you like to be hated by others for speaking the truth?
What kind of people do you like? Those who speak the truth to you or the ones who speak what pleases you? What are some ways that you relate to the prophet Micaiah?
What price have you paid for telling the truth? Was it worth the cost?
How do you choose among conflicting opinions? Do you look for your safety or would you take a risk? Even if you are the only one, will you stand up for the truth?
- List out situations where you have held back from speak the truth; pray and get confidence from God to stand up like Micaiah.
- Initiate and listen to the advice of people who speak the truth to you.