We read of the demise and death of Ahab during a conflict that had sought to reclaim Ramoth in Gilead. This city had likely been included in a treaty with Ben-Hadad; but wasn’t taken. As a result of some treaty or agreement, Israel and Judah had at least cordial attitudes with one another. Jehoshaphat was visiting Ahab and during this visit, Ahab requests the king of Judah’s assistance in battle to reclaim Ramoth-Gilead.
Jehoshaphat agreed, however desired to hear “the word of the Lord” concerning the battle. The four hundred false prophets under Jezebel’s authority agreed that not only would Ahab go out to battle that was a just engagement, but also that he would retake Ramoth. It’s interesting that Jehoshaphat desired to hear from “a prophet of the Lord” and not these false prophets.
There was one, Micaiah; yet he didn’t “prophesy good concerning” Ahab, “but evil.” Immediately Jehoshaphat reproved him and requested Micaiah’s presence. As Micaiah is in route, Zedekiah brings a false prophesy that was illustrated with “horns of iron”. Also Micaiah was admonished to bring the prophetic word in agreement with the four hundred false prophets of Asherah.
Upon entering the presence of the kings, Micaiah prophesy’s to “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king!” This “word” was accurate, only it wasn’t referring to Ahab; rather to Ben-Hadad. Ahab required “the truth in the name of the Lord” from Micaiah, to which the prophet immediately responded. He saw all Israel scattered and no one to lead them.
Ahab heard what he’d expected from this man of God; then heard the rest of the “word” from the Lord. The prophet declared a lying spirit would speak through all four hundred false prophets, which would result in “disaster against you.” Zedekiah slapped Micaiah, wanting to know how someone of his apparent insignificance could hear from the Lord. Micaiah was placed in prison and fed the “bread of affliction and water of affliction” until he returned; which didn’t happen.
In an effort to disguise himself, Ahab put on different battle armor and Jehoshaphat put on his regal robes. It obviously was the hope of Ahab that Jehoshaphat would shot at rather than him; however a soldier “drew a bow at random” which struck Ahab and killed him. At the end of the day, we read that the “dogs licked up his blood”, fulfilling the prophecy given earlier; the total fulfillment we read in 2 Kings 9.
In reading the accomplishments of civil nature by Ahab and Jehoshaphat, neither of which were totally committed to the Lord, one can be impressed. Yet how impressed is the Lord, what righteous accomplishments were attained for the Kingdom of God? What Ahab we read of is a downward spiral that resulted in a humiliating death and Israel left without a shepherd.
What are we accomplishing that will have eternal value? The only entity that has eternal value is that of PEOPLE. Are we working to lead people to a deeper relationship with the King of kings? If so, that will have eternal value!