Study Notes

1Kings 22:1-53


When we left off in our study of 1Kings, we saw that in chapter 21, God had postponed the judgment on King Ahab's house because he had repented for his sin in taking Naw-BOTH's vineyard after Jezebel had him killed. This does not mean, however, that Ahab has become a godly man. On the contrary, he is far from it.

22:1-4 A War Alliance Between Israel And Judah

Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT, king of the southern kingdom of Judah, met with Ahab to form diplomatic relations. Ahab asked Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT to form an alliance with him against Arawm and gain back Raw-MOTH Ghil-AWD. This city, you may recall, was one of the cities of refuge in the territory of the tribe of Gad. Arawm had taken it from Israel in battle. As Jews, they both had a common interest in getting back this city of refuge that God had appointed for them.

22:5-6 Go For It

Before Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT would agree to fight against Arawm for Raw-MOTH Ghil-AWD, he insisted that they inquire for the word of the Lord.

Ahab got 400 prophets together to find out what they would say. These were not prophets of God, but of BAH-al and other false gods. They all said, "Go for it!"

Beware of a prophet who is always telling you what you want to hear.

It's no coincidence that psychics tell people, "Oh, in a past life, you were Abraham Lincoln, or Cleopatra." They always tell you that you were someone famous. If they said, "You were a poor boy that died at the age of twelve from the Bubonic Plague," then they wouldn't make any money.

The palm readers don't say, "look out - the next five years of your life are going to make you wish that you were dead. I see sickness and pain and great loss in store for you." Instead, they tell you, "Long life, health, love, and riches are coming your way."

What is really sad is when men who speak in the name of God fall into the trap of trying to tell people what they want to hear. They stop preaching about sin, about responsibility, stewardship, and commitment. They water things down so that no one will ever get upset with them, and so they can keep their jobs. Paul warned that...

2Tim. 4:3-4 ...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but {wanting} to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth...

Today, those kind of teachers abound.

22:7-9 Inquire First For The Word Of The Lord

Even though many other prophets had given them the thumbs up, Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT said, "Hey, don't you have any prophets of the Lord here?" Ahab said, "there's one guy, Me-KAW-yeh, the son of Yim-LAW...

1Kgs. 22:8 ...but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil..."

Of course, Me-KAW-yeh always prophesied evil against Ahab because Ahab was always in hot water with God. He was simply telling the truth from the Lord.

Ahab hated him for this, for telling the truth. The world will always hate you for telling the truth. Romans 1 says,

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness

The world is convicted by the truth, and so they hate the truth, and suppress the truth. The truth will make you very unpopular, the world will hate you for it. But what a great reputation to have! I'd rather have people hate me for telling the truth than everyone loving me for telling them what they wanted to hear. King Ahab hated Me-KAW-yeh for this same reason. He considered the prophet his enemy. Me-KAW-yeh probably knew how Paul felt when he told the Galatians,

Gal. 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Let Not The King Say So

However, King Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT was not a hater of the truth. When Ahab told him that there was only one prophet of God around and how he hated him, he said,

1Kgs. 22:8 ..."Let not the king say so."

Can you imagine entering into an alliance with someone, then finding out that they hated the truth of the Word of God? Talk about being unequally yoked! But Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT pressed the issue, so Ahab sent for the prophet Me-KAW-yeh.

22:10-14 Prophets And False Prophets

It takes quite a while for 400 prophets to prophesy. Tsid-kee-YAW, the son of Ken-ah-an-AW, was giving a presentation complete with visual aids. The unanimous consensus was to go into battle and have victory.

Meanwhile, backstage, Me-KAW-yeh is getting pressure from the stage manager to give a favorable word. But Me-KAW-yeh says, "I'm only going to tell what the Lord tells me, buddy."

22:15-18 A False Prophecy From A True Prophet?

When Ahab asks Me-KAW-yeh about going into the battle, Me-KAW-yeh answers with sarcasm, "Oh, yes, go on up! You will certainly succeed."

But Ahab knows that this is only said to mock the false prophets. When he asks for the truth, Me-KAW-yeh tells him that the battle will result in Israel having no leader.

This was clearly a prophecy that Ahab would die in this battle, and Ahab recognized that it was spoken against him.

22:19-23 A Deceiving Spirit

As Me-KAW-yeh continues to prophesy, he tells of the heavenly scene that he was privy to. It is interesting to consider the heavenly scenes that we have been shown. In the book of Job, we see the interaction between satan and the Lord:

Job 1:6-12 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

From His throne, the Lord makes allowances to the devil to attack. Of course, satan can do nothing apart from that divine permission. This is why the Scriptures say,

Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities —all things have been created by Him and for Him.

Even the demons have been created for a purpose - to bring about the plan of God. Here in 1Kings, we see that an evil spirit volunteers to deceive Ahab by speaking lies through the false prophets. This will accomplish God's own purposes, so He allows it to happen.

But remember, since God is sovereign, He is actually the one credited with the deception. Notice that verse 23 says,

1Kgs. 22:23 "...the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets...

God is not lying, but He is ultimately responsible for the enticement of and judgment against Ahab.

22:24 How Did The Lord Pass From Me?

Tsid-kee-YAW, the son of Ken-ah-an-AW was outraged. He socked Me-KAW-yeh on the face and said, "How did the Lord pass from me to speak to you?" You see, he knew that he had been prophesying by supernatural means. He believed it was from his God, but in fact it was from the deceiving spirit.

22:25-28 Micaiah Imprisoned

Me-KAW-yeh was thrown into prison for speaking the truth. He would not be let out until Ahab returned. But, as Me-KAW-yeh knew, Ahab would not return. He was given into the charge of Aw-MONE the governor of the city, and Yo-AWSH, the king's son.

22:29-30 Kill The King

Ahab makes the suggestion to Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT that he will disguise himself as a regular guy, not wearing his kingly robes. But he encouraged Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT to dress appropriately for the occasion, wearing his own kingly robes.

This would make Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT a nice visible target, while Ahab would be invisible to those searching for the king of Israel to kill him.

22:31-33 Wrong Guy

The King of Arawm told his 32 chariot captains not to waste their time fighting with anyone, but to search for and kill the King of Israel. When they saw Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT in his kingly robes, they naturally assumed it was Ahab. But they recognized that it was not him, and left him alone.

22:34 Injured At Random

Meanwhile, Ahab was injured in the battle completely at random, as an archer fired into the crowd. Of course, we know that "random" events are actually foreseen and ordained by the Lord.

That is why it drives me crazy when Christians use the word "luck." "Boy, that sure was lucky!" "Wow, I really lucked out!" "Good luck with that!" As a follower of Christ, I don't do luck. I don't believe that anything that happens to me is by accident. Even the most seemingly random event has been foreordained by God.

22:35-37 Ahab Dies

Ahab propped himself up in the chariot, to keep the troops from becoming demoralized. But he died that night, and his army lost courage and returned home.

22:38-40 Prophecy Fulfilled

God had spoken a judgment against Ahab through the prophet Elijah, saying,

1Kgs. 21:19 ..."In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naw-BOTH the dogs shall lick up your blood..."

That prophecy was fulfilled literally, as Ahab's blood pooled in the bottom of his chariot, and the dogs licked it up there next to the pool of Samaria, as the chariot was being washed out.

After Ahab's death, his son Akh-az-YAW became king.

22:41-50 Jehoshaphat, King Of Judah

Now the book of 1Kings switches once again to the southern kingdom of Judah.

Going backwards in time a little, we are told of Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT's becoming king of Judah.

His mother was Az-oo-BAW, daughter of Shil-KHEE.

He was a good king, devoted to the Lord like his father Asa, but the nation as a whole was unrepentant of their idolatry.

Although the book of 2Chronicles (chapters 17-20) gives much more detail about Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT's reign, we are given some miscellaneous events here.

Ships Of Tarshish

Just as King Solomon had done, Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT sent ships to Ophir for gold. This was a duplication of his father's successful venture, but it turned out to not be profitable for him. The ships were destroyed at Ets-YONE GHEH-ber.

This tells me something about duplication. Just because something works for one person, doesn't mean that it's going to work for me. If someone says, "I made a bunch of money in the stock market," that doesn't mean that I'm going to do as well. In the church, there is a lot of duplication going on. One church grows to thousands of people, and what do they do? They market their strategies, giving seminars, selling books, and hawking tapes, so that your church can grow like theirs did. But God doesn't bless duplication. He blesses prayer, He blesses people who are led by the Spirit.

When we attempt duplication without prayer, imitation without God's leading, our success or failure becomes our responsibility. We have to keep things alive because we are the ones who birthed the work. By our sweat and backbone, we've got to fight to make it succeed.

Often, when we try to duplicate what God has blessed in other ministries, at other times, or in other regions, we fail to see success. In effect, our ships are broken at Ets-YONE GHEH-ber. Interestingly, this name means, "the backbone of a man."

Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT did, however, learn his lesson from the alliance with Ahab. While peace was kept between the two kingdoms, Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT refused Ahab's son's request to partner in this venture.

Jehoram Becomes King

When Yeh-ho-shaw-FAWT died, his son Yeh-ho-RAWM became king in his place.

22:51-53 Ahab's Son Like His Father

As we saw a few verses ago, Ahab's son Akh-az-YAW became king after his father's death. When we begin our study of 2Kings next week, we will see that he is no more devoted to the Lord than his father was. Fortunately, his reign will be short - only two years. Unfortunately, more bad kings are coming after him.

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