Let’s turn in our Bibles to I Kings, chapter twenty one.
And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, which was right next to the palace of Ahab the king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it’s near my house: and I will give to you a better vineyard than it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give to you the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee (21:1-3).
So we find that Naboth has a vineyard right next to Ahab’s palace in Jezreel. Ahab had a palace also in Samaria. In fact the ruins of his palace in Samaria, are still there to the present day. But he also had a palace in Jezreel, which was about twenty five miles from Samaria. And, he began to covet this vineyard that belonged to Naboth. It seemed to be an ideal place for his vegetable garden. Jezreel’s a very beautiful site.
From there, you can get a good view over the whole Israelian valley. You can see across to mount Tabor, the area of Nazareth, on up to Carmel. It has just a beautiful view, and he had his palace there, wanted desperately this vineyard that belonged to Naboth. But Naboth did not want to relinquish the vineyard for money, or for a trade, because it was the family inheritance. It was considered really, a sacred trust. It would pass down through the family from generation to generation, and it was the obligation to hold together the family trust, as a sacred obligation.
So you notice that he says that, “Before Jehovah”, he didn’t want to do this. Because he felt this obligation before the Lord, to hold together the family trust. The family inheritance, and such was the law of Moses.
So Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased [In the Hebrew, it is solemn, and angry.] because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid down on his bed, and turned his face, and would not eat bread (21:4).
Sulking, and pouting over the fact that he could not have that vineyard. Now, the law of God, in Exodus, repeated in Deuteronomy, chapter five declares that, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thy neighbor’s wife, thy neighbor’s servant, his ox, or any thing that belongs to your neighbor”. Coveting is a sin. In the new testament, it is interesting to notice the things that coveting is associated with. In the listing of the sins in the new testament, it is listed alongside of adultery, and murder, and fornication, lasciviousness. We are not prone to think of covetousness as, as a very bad sin, but if you’ll look at it in the bible, in the various places where it is listed, it is really a heinous sin, because it is out of covetousness that so many other evil things arise.
Here, in the case of Ahab, the coveting of that field, led to the false charges against Naboth, his being put to death, and Ahab appropriating that which was not his, or stealing then, the field. In the case of David, coveting his neighbor’s wife, it led David to the murder of her husband Uriah. It led to adultery with Bathsheba. Jesus said that we should beware of covetousness. For, He declared that, “A man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things that he possesses”.
There is a common lie that Satan uses on us, and that is that, “we would be happy if we just had…”, and you can fill in the blank. Because you know the bobble that he’s holding out to you, and saying, “My you would be so happy if you just had this”. That’s a fallacy! He causes us to begin to covet after these things, crave and yearn. Then the mind usually schemes some nefarious way by which I might acquire it. Coveting leads to so many other horrible things.
A man’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses. A man’s life consists in his relationship with God. In this case, the coveting made him miserable, and that is usually the effect that coveting has upon you. You feel absolutely miserable. You feel like you don’t want to live. “If I can’t have that, I just don’t want to live.” Here he is lying down, not eating, he’s sullen, he’s angry. “I just don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to communicate, I’m just…”, you know. “I want that field.” The misery that coveting can bring you into. Rather than bringing pleasure and happiness, the effect of coveting is usually that of real misery. So, here is Ahab, pouting, face against the wall. Didn’t show up for dinner.
So, his wife came [to the bedroom to see what was wrong, and] she said, Why is your spirit so sad, that you’re not eating? And he said unto her, Because I spoke unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and I said to him, Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give you my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Are you the one who governs the kingdom of Israel? [“What’s wrong with you? You know, is that the way for a king to act?”] arise, eat, let your heart be merry: because I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in the city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, the sons of Belial, before him, [sons of wickedness] to bear witness against him, saying, That he blasphemed God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, kill him. And so the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, set Naboth on a high place among the people. And there came in two men, children of wickedness, they sat before him: and the men of wickedness witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. So they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died (21:5-13).
So we see, as the result of this coveting, the horrible evil. Perpetrated by Jezebel against this man, in order to satisfy the cravings of her husband. Setting him up, that he might be put to death. Now, under the law if two or three witnesses, would bear witness against a person, saying that he had blasphemed God, that person was to be stoned to death. In the mouth of two or three witnesses, every thing shall be established. In other words, the facts are established. So, here are two witnesses who are establishing themselves. Wicked men, who are bearing this witness against Naboth. He is taken out and probably his sons with him, all of them stoned to death.
Then they sent to Jezebel saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that she said to Ahab, Arise, and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give to you for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. [Sort of, “Take it”. Poor fool rejected the money, so now, “you can have it”.] So it came to pass when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that he arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. Now the word of Jehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab the king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it (21:14-18).
So, Elijah you remember, had fled from Ahab, and had gone on north, and anointed Haziel, to be the king over Syria. He had anointed Elisha to be the prophet in his stead. Now the Lord is sending him to meet Ahab again, and He’s told him where he was. “He’s in the field that he has taken possession of. The field of Naboth.”
And thus shall you speak unto him, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, Have you killed, and also taken possession? And you shall speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall the dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you found me, O my enemy? And he answered, I have found you; because you have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will take away your posterity, and I will cut off from Ahab all of his descendants, and those that are shut up and left in Israel, And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam, and like the house of Baasha (21:19-22),
Now both Jeroboam, and Baasha were kings of Israel before Ahab. Both of them were cut off completely. Their dynasties were cut off, all of their descendants were slain, because of their wickedness. Now God is promising the same thing to Ahab. His posterity is to be completely cut off because of this sin, and the other sins before the Lord.
And Jezebel also saith the Lord, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel (21:23).
“So not only will the dogs lick your blood, but they will eat your wife.” It’s interesting that, and I don’t know why, but when dogs eat a body, they’ll eat everything but the palms and the soles of the feet. Now tell me why, I don’t know. But even, always in ancient times, and even to the present. When dogs devour a person’s body, they do not eat the palms of the hands, and the soles of their feet. So Jezebel’s palms and soles were left, but we’ll find out. The Lord fulfilled His word, and Jezebel was eaten by the dogs.
And him who dies of Ahab in the city the dogs will eat; and those that die in the field the vultures will eat. But there was none like unto Ahab, which sold himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. [She was the, the one behind the scenes, stirring up her husband to his evil deeds.] And he did very abominably in following idols, according to the things, as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel (21:24-26).
So, the Amorites were cast out of the land, because of their wickedness. Now God’s people are doing the very same things, for which the others were thrown out of the land. What a tragedy, when the people of God, turn against the ways of the Lord, and do wickedness.
It came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes, he put on sackcloth, and he fasted, and laid in sackcloth, and he lived carefully. So the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, You see how Ahab has humbled himself before me? and because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house (21:27-29).
So, the mercy of God, and the grace of God is something that always amazes me. It’s so great the way God is merciful. If a person turns, no matter how deep they’ve gone into sin, no matter how far they’ve gone down the tubes, if they will turn and humble themselves before God, God is gracious and God is merciful! That should bring a hope to a lot of people, who have made a mess of their lives. Who’ve turned their backs on God, who have tasted the depths of sin and iniquity.
Perhaps even as Ahab, have been guilty of leading others into vile practices. Even though the judgement of God was pronounced upon Ahab, because of his turning to God, fasting, humbling himself, God said, “Alright, I will fulfill it in his son’s life, but not in his. The things that happen will happen to his son, and not to him”. Mercy, grace. Is there no end to the mercy and the grace of God? I trust, there isn’t. Surely, we have not found it!
And so they continued for three years [Probably after this incident.] in which there was no war with Syria and Israel (22:1).
According to history, at this particular time, the Assyrian empire had begun to grow in strength, and there was war between Syria and Assyria. This probably accounts for the peace with Israel. Benhadad was busily engaged against the Assyrians, and thus had to sort of leave off the yearly face-off with Israel. And for three years there wasn’t any war.
And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel (22:2).
Here’s a strange combination. From the time of the division of the nation, there had never been any real fellowship between the kings. In fact there had always been wars between the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. But Jehoshaphat the son of Asa, a good king, came unto Ahab, an extremely wicked king. What could possibly bring these two kings together. The daughter of Ahab, Athelia, had married the son of Jehoshaphat. So they were brought together by marriage, the two families. This Athelia??? became a horrible influence in the southern kingdom of Judah. But, uh, because of the marriage of their children, Jehoshaphat came up to visit.
And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Don’t you realize that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and do not take it out of the hand of the king of Syria (22:3)?
Now when the Syrian king had been captured by Ahab, and Ahab you remember let him go, he asked to make the treaty, and he said he would give back the cities that his father had taken from Ahab’s father. One of those cities was Ramothgilead. He did not keep his word. Ramothgilead, was still a city of Syria, or still under Syrian control. It was over in the area that is present day, Jordan, a fortified city. And Jehoshaphat said, “Hey that’s ours! But we don’t possess it”.
So Ahab said to Jehoshaphat the king, Will you go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to Ahab the king of Israel, I am as you are, my people as yours, my horses as your horses. And so Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of Jehovah today (22:4-5).
In other words, “Let’s seek the guidance from God. Let’s see if God is in this.
And so the king of Israel gathered his prophets together, about four hundred men, [Now they could’ve been the prophets of Ashtoreth. Elijah slayed, uh had killed the prophets of Baal. Or they could’ve been the priests who were overseeing the worship of the calves, in Dan and in Bethel. They are called prophets, but they are called Ahab’s prophets. Four hundred men.] and he said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king (22:6).
Now notice the word Lord there. It’s capital L, small “ord”, which indicates that it is the translation of the Hebrew word, Adoni. These were not prophets of Jehovah. These were some other prophets. And, they do not prophecy in the name of Jehovah, but in Adoni. “Go up, for Adoni shall deliver it into the hand of the king. But when a person says, “Oh my Lord”, you really don’t know who they’re talking about do you, unless you know the person. Who is the Lord of your life? When a person says, “Oh Lord”, they can be talking about any multitudes of ambitions or goals or ideals. They’re not necessarily talking about Jesus.
When we say, “Lord”, we’re talking about Jesus, because we’ve acknowledged Him, the Lord of our lives. We surrendered our lives to Him, and we have laid claim to Him as our Lord. But when these people were talking about the Lord, we just really don’t know if it was Ashtoreth, or who they had submitted their lives, to serve.
And so Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of Jehovah, [Notice it’s capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D. Whenever you see it in all capitals, it is indicating that it is the translation of the Hebrew YHVH, which they used for the consonants for the name of Jehovah, or Yahweh, or however it was pronounced. The pronunciation has been lost. “Is there not here a prophet of Jehovah”] besides, that we might inquire from him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, who we may inquire of Jehovah: but I hate him; for he [only, he] never prophecies good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, [“Ah, no don’t say that.] Let’s hear from him. So the king of Israel called an officer, and he said, Hasten and bring Micaiah the son of Imlah. And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each of them on their throne, they had put on their robes, and they were sitting in a high place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all of the prophets were there prophesying before them. And this one prophet Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith Jehovah, With these shall you push the Syrians, until you’ve consumed them. And all of the prophets prophesied the same saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for Jehovah shall deliver it into the king’s hand (22:7-12).
So here are the two kings, and these prophets are now putting on a little show for them. The one guy made these horns of iron, put them on his head, began to run around and say, “Thus shall you push the Syrians until you’ve utterly destroyed them”. All the other guys saying, “Yeah, yeah, go out, Jehovah’s gonna deliver!”.
So the messenger had gone to get this [fellow] Micaiah spake unto him, and he said, Now behold, all of the prophets are saying good to the king with one accord: [I mean they are agreeing on this thing.] so let your word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good. [“Go in and tell the king good things.”] And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak. [He’s not gonna be bought off.] So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king (22:13-15).
No doubt he said it in a sarcastic way, so that the king realized that he wasn’t sincere. Quite obvious that he answered him in a very insincere, “Yeah, go ahead. The Lord prosper you…”, and he said it in such a way that Ahab realized that he was just not telling him the truth.
And he said unto him, How many times must I command you that you tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of Jehovah? So he said, I saw all of Israel scattered on the hills, as sheep that have no shepherd: and Jehovah said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. [“Hey you want to know the truth? You’re gonna get it. The shepherd is gonna be killed. I saw all the people of Israel scattered on the mountain, like sheep without a shepherd.”] And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good, but he would prophesy evil (22:16-18)?
“I mean this guy’s true to form. Told you about him.”
And so Micaiah said unto him, Hear the word of Jehovah: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said after this manner, another said after that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before Jehovah, and said, I will persuade him. And Jehovah said unto him, How? And he said, I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all of his prophets. And he said, You shalt persuade him and prevail: go, and do. Now therefore, behold, Jehovah hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets, and Jehovah hath spoken evil concerning thee (22:19-23).
An extremely difficult passage of scripture to understand. He said, “I saw the Lord, there was a council in heaven, and God was saying, ‘Who will go and persuade Ahab to go into battle that he might be slain?’.
In Isaiah, chapter six, Isaiah had a vision of the Lord. “In the year that king Uzziah died (he said,) I saw also the Lord sitting on his throne, he was high and lifted up, and his glory filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: each had six wings; with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, with two they flew. One cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. And then I said, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips: I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim’s unto me, having a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and he said, Lo, this hath touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is washed. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
So again, God is saying, “Who will go, who will persuade?”. Here in Isaiah, he hears the Lord saying much the same, “Who will go for us?”, and Isaiah said, “Hey, I’m here I’ll go, Here am I, send me”. So God commissioned him to go and tell these people of the judgements that were coming.
But coming back to this scene. “The councils in heaven”, as God is speaking unto no doubt the angels, saying, “Who will go and persuade this fellow to go into battle, that he might be slain in battle?” And, different suggestions were made. One said, “Well, this”, the other said, “That”. Finally one came up, a spirit came up and said, “Hey I’ll go and I’ll persuade him”. The Lord said, “How?”, “I’ll be a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets”. The Lord said, “That’ll work. You go”.
In the book of Job we find that the sons of God were presenting themselves to God, and Satan also came with them. God said to him, “Hey where have you been?”, “I’ve been going to and fro throughout the earth, up and down in it”. God said, “Have you considered my servant Job? He’s a good man. He loves good, he hates evil”, and Satan said to God, “He’s a mercenary. You’ve blessed him. He’s only serving you because of the tremendous blessings that you’ve bestowed upon him. Anyone would serve you if you bless them like you’ve blessed Job. Let me take away his blessings and he’ll curse you”.
Now there are interesting things that go on in heaven that we don’t know much about, admittedly so. Here is an interesting scene, where God is sort of just seeking, in a sense, the suggestions from the heavenly beings. “Who will go and persuade Ahab to go into battle, that he might fall there?” Various suggestions are offered, until the one spirit comes with a suggestion that he would persuade him, and God consented to it.
It is interesting, and it is a little difficult to comprehend, at first perhaps, that God is sovereign over the universe, and even Satan serves a purpose for God. Satan only exists because God allows him to exist. God could have destroyed Satan, the moment that he rebelled against Him. God has allowed and tolerated Satan to rebel against Him, and to continue in his rebellion, because it serves a purpose for God. So in a sense, Satan serves God. That is, he serves a purpose, in the overall purposes of God. God looking for a meaningful, loving, relationship with man, created man in His image, and in His likeness, endowing man with that special capacity of choice, in order that the relationship might indeed be meaningful.
The Ink Spots used to sing a song, “I’m gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own. A doll that other fellows cannot steal. Then those flirty, flirty guys, with their flirty, flirty eyes, will have to flirt with dollies that are real. When I come home at night, she will be waiting, she’ll be the truest doll in all the world. I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own, than have a fickle minded real live girl!” No doubt the fellow had been jilted, who wrote that song!
But what he is expressing is not true of God. God doesn’t want paper dolls, that have no capacity of choice, or self-determination. I don’t know, it seems to me it’d be rather peculiar to talk to a paper doll at night. Lay it on the pillow beside you, and kiss it good night. I mean it’s just a little weird. God doesn’t want robots, because He wants a meaningful relationship with us. Thus God gave to us that capacity of choice, self-determination, in order that I can choose to serve God, or I can choose to live for myself. I can choose to love God, or I can choose to reject God. I don’t have to love God, He doesn’t force me to. I don’t have to obey God, He doesn’t force me to. He does tell me the consequences of disobedience, but He leaves the choice to me. I can choose to love, and I can choose to obey, and I can choose to live in fellowship with God, but it is a matter of choice, and thus it is meaningful, and my relationship with God is not only meaningful to me, it’s meaningful to God, because it is the exercise of choice and free will.
But, in order for this choice to be valid, there has to be something to choose. The alternate choice must be attractive. Do you want sirloin steak for dinner tonight, or garbage? Well, I mean who wouldn’t take the sirloin? I mean, you know, I mean that’s not really a choice. Nothing attractive about that. So the alternate choice has to be an extremely attractive choice, it’s got to be an appealing choice.
Thus the alternate choice is appealing to my flesh, the world in which I live. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, lies to the alternate of serving God, and loving God, which is the denying of myself, and of my flesh. And taking up my cross to follow Him. That makes then a difficult choice, do I want to live after my flesh, after the lusts of my flesh, and eyes, and the pride of life? Or, do I want to deny those things, that I might live after God. The alternate is an extremely attractive choice, because behind it are all of the powers of my nature, and of my flesh. They’re appealing to them. The world is alluring, it is attractive, it is appealing. It has a strong pull upon man, and the world, and the flesh, and the devil, are working in concert against your commitment to Jesus Christ, and your commitment to loving God. They’re working against your fellowship with God, living in a meaningful, loving relationship with Him.
Thus God allowed Satan that liberty, to exploit the alternate. So Satan comes, using the fallen world as the bait, to appeal to your flesh, and to draw you after the flesh, after the world. And, it is a strong pull. But, if against this pull, I choose to deny myself, and to take up my cross, that I might walk with Jesus, then my relationship with God is a meaningful, loving, relationship, because I’ve made my commitment, and God knows the sacrifices that I have made in order to follow this choice of living in fellowship with Him. It goes against my nature of the flesh.
Now the world is saying, “Live it up! Go for it! Throw off the restraints, indulge your flesh!” But God is saying, “Deny yourself, take up the cross”. But you see the alternate is an extremely attractive alternate. Not only that, Satan is there to exploit the alternate, and in that way, he is serving the purposes of God. By God allowing him to tempt you, and to test you, your remaining faithful, and true to God, makes the relationship all the more meaningful to Him. Your victory over the flesh, the world, and the devil, makes that relationship that you have with God something that’s extremely unique in fellowship.
Thus in a sense, Satan is serving God. God has placed upon Satan the limits of what he can do. Again, indicating that he serves God. For in the case of Job, Satan was complaining to God that, “You’ve put a hedge around that guy. You won’t let me touch him! Take away that hedge, and I’ll show you the truth about that fellow”. So he was limited, and is limited by what God will allow him to do. And God, knowing your breaking point, and your weakness, puts a hedge around that, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear.
But these temptations that we endure, these temptations over which we have victory, only enhance this relationship that I have with God, because I’ve proved faithful unto God through the temptations. Thus with Job, when Satan stripped him. He fell on his face, having lost everything. He said, “Naked I came into the world, naked I am going out. The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”, and in all of these things he did not curse God, nor charge God foolishly. Thus, the next time Satan showed up, God said, “Hey, hey, have you looked at my servant Job? Good man, loves good, hates evil, and he did not curse me, in spite of all of those rotten things you did to him”.
So, in a way that we do not fully understand, there are councils in heaven. Even Satan’s allowed in these councils, and the angels, that have rebelled with him are allowed into these councils. In the book of Revelation, we are told of the time that is coming when Satan will be cast out of heaven. The warning will come to those that are upon the earth, “Woe, woe, woe to those who inhabit the earth, for Satan, dragon, the serpent, is cast out. And he knows that he has only a short time”. So that day is coming when he will, (and his emissaries, and, the, saw Satan fall from heaven, dragon), and with his tail he drew a third part of the stars. So those angels, that rebelled with Satan. So they do serve a purpose of God.
As God is counseling the angels, saying, “Who will go, who shall I send that they might persuade this Ahab to go to battle, that he might fall there?”, that God’s judgement might be carried out against this wicked king. “Some suggested this, some suggested that. ”And then there came forth this spirit, who said, “I will persuade him”. The Lord said, “How?”. “I’ll be a lying spirit in the mouth of his prophets.” And he said, “You will persuade him, and prevail. Go forth and do so”. “Now therefore, behold the Lord hath put, (he said) a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”
But Zedekiah [This guy that made the iron horns, was prophesying that he was gonna push the Assyrians all the way back, he,] came close, and he hit Micaiah on the cheek, and he said, Which way did the spirit of the Lord go from me to speak unto thee? [This guy had contradicted his prophecy to the king, he was angry, he slapped him, he said, “Alright you see spirits, and you see the heavenly scenes. Tell me, which way did the spirit go, that sent me here to slap you on the cheek?”] And so Micaiah said, You will see in that day when you are going into the inner chamber to hide yourself. [“I mean, you know when the king is slain, and you’re gonna be proved to be a false servant, you’re gonna try and hide in an inner chamber someplace, and you’ll see it.”] And so the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with the bread of affliction [“Give him dry bread and water.”] until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If you return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you (22:24-28).
So Ahab says, “Put him in jail, till I come back in peace”, he said, “Man if you come back in peace, God hasn’t spoken by me”.
So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went to Ramoth in Gilead. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; so you put on my robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into battle. [He just went in as one of the troops, just to get into the foray.] But the king of Syria had commanded his thirty two captains saying, Don’t bother fighting with the common soldiers, let’s only get the king of Israel (22:29-31).
“I mean, concentrate your attack against the king of Israel, because the idea is, if we kill him, then they, they’ve, they’ll have no leader, and they’ll, you know, they’ll retreat. But here’s poor Jehoshaphat, he’s got the kings robes on. Because Ahab has gone into battle, he took off his robes, and went into battle, said, “Here you wear my robes”. So here’s Jehoshaphat, sitting innocently by in the chariot watching the battle. And the thirty two captains see the chariot out there, and the guy in the kings robes and all.
And so it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, [Hey] there’s the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. [I mean, “I’m getting out of here!”] And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn your hand, and carry me out of the battle; for I am wounded (22:32-34).
So, here is a, a arrow shot, you know, a guy just winging arrows. Not aiming at anything, just puling back and letting arrows fly, and one of these arrows came right between the harness. Caught the king. They had ordered the chariot driver to get him out of there.
And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, [They propped him up there in the chariot.] and at evening time he died: and the blood ran out of the wound into the middle of the chariot. And there went out a proclamation through the host about the time the sun was going down, saying, Every man to his city, every man to his own country. And the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria (22:35-37).
Now that won’t happen to his son, the prophecy of the dog’s eating, will come to pass on his son. But, because he had humbled himself that one time, God passed the, over to his son.
And the one who washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; the dogs came and licked up the blood; and they washed his armour; according to the word of the Lord which he spoke. And the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and [all of the ivory, or,] the ivory house which he made, [Beautiful ivory palace and all, which is told about in history.] and all of the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead. [Now back in the southern kingdom.] Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab the king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty five years old when he began to reign; he reigned for twenty five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; [Asa, you remember was a good king.] he turned not aside from it, he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah: with the exception that he did not remove all of the high places; for the people offered and burnt incense still in those high places. And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel (22:38-44).
As I said, his son married Ahab’s daughter.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, how he warred, are they not written in the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And the remnant of the homosexuals, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he destroyed out of the land (22:45-46).
They, the homosexuals, they had begun to demand public recognition and acceptance, and his father started to get rid of them, he finished the job. They got all of the sodomites out of the land.
There was then no king in Edom: but a deputy was king. [That’s of course way on south, and across from the Dead sea.] Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they did not go; because they were in a storm and they were broken up at Eziongeber. Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab to Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with your sailors in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not do it. [He had one experience with joining up with a king, and he was lucky to get out with his life, and so he’s not gonna do that again.] And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead (22:48-50).
Jehoram unfortunately was a bad king, under the influence of Athaliah.
Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, and he reigned for two years [Short reign.] over Israel. [He was wicked.] He did evil in the sight of Jehovah, he walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin: And he served Baal, he worshiped him, and provoked to anger Jehovah the God of Israel, according to all that his father had done (22:51-53).
So, we see the deterioration of the nation of Israel, under the wicked kings. We begin now, to see a downward movement among Judah, under uh, the new king, as we move into the book of the Kings, second book of the Kings, we’ll see how Judah also begins to deteriorate. So, brings us now to the second book of the Kings, as we move through the whole bible. Shall we pray?
Father, thank you again for your word. And Father, we pray that you would examine our hearts tonight. If there be some coveting within our lives. Some object that we have set up as something that we must have, and we must have at any cost. Lord, cast down every idol. Cleanse our hearts, O Lord. Make us pure. And give us Lord, that strength that we need to stand against the world, and against the flesh, and against the devil. For Lord, we do want a meaningful relationship with you. Lord, we want our love to triumph over the enticements of the world, that the enemy brings before us, that you Lord might be pleased, with our love, and with our devotion, that we express with free hearts unto you. O God, make us pure, make us like you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Shall we stand? Pray for our property on Palomar, there is a fire that is raging up the hill from the Rancor right now. Bob Peterson’s wife happens to be on the top of the mountain, with his little boy. He’s gone up, the power has been cut off I understand, because of the fire, so remember the Peterson family in prayer tonight, and the situation there on the mountain.
Father, we thank You now again for Your love, and for your blessings, and go with us, as we go our separate ways. May your hand be upon our lives to guide us, according to Your will. May our hearts be filled with rejoicing and praise, as we walk with You in love. In Jesus’ name.
1 Kings 21-22, PW Twente, date 10/10/05, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone # 310 476 4704
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7111