Verse 1 hints at a period of three years peace. In a land and time which experienced conflict on a regular basis, that must have been great and Ahab was still alive - the Lord’s judgement had not yet been acted on. Did Ahab grow complacent of Elijah’s prophecy over his fate? Did he maybe think the Lord had forgotten what he said? Did he forget the fear he felt when the Lord spoke against him causing him to be humble and meek?
Ahab had a desire to go into battle and nothing and no-one was going to stop him. Clearly, Jezebel had taught him a great deal in the art of coercion and manipulation which, during this time of peace, he’d had plenty of opportunity to plan out.
Ahab’s own army would not have been strong enough to go against Aram but Jehoshaphat was well respected, wealthy and well-armed and just in case it helped, he knew God. Ahab was quick to combat the appeal to seek the ‘counsel of the Lord’, by asking his ‘prophets’ to discern the result of such a battle. I’m not convinced Ahab was concerned about their response but I’m quite sure he hoped it would satisfy Jehoshaphat who, instantly recognised these were not prophets of the Lord so could not be trusted. Ahab was finding this whole deception part of his plan to be much more time consuming than it was on papyrus and he really didn’t like it when one of the Lord’s prophets spoke because they never had a nice word to say to him.
Micaiah was no different - once he got passed the sarcastic prophecy of telling Ahab he would be victorious. The truth hurt. It hurt Ahab but it damaged the pride of Zedekiah who had gone to such lengths to demonstrate the success of an attack especially when Micaiah informed them they had been given a lying spirit to all give the same response. Zedekiah’s violent reaction condemns him. The tension there must have been palpable, so with all eyes probably fixed on Ahab as people wondered what would happen now, Ahab acted as only he knew how - get rid of the problem - send Micaiah away.
I had so many questions for the people in this text but as I started to list them, I felt I had to caution myself: am I innocent of ever trying to make things happen a certain way so I could get what I wanted? Have I ever not spoken out when I should have spoken up?
Heavenly Father, help me to know the truth of my heart when I seek Yours. Amen.