Dr. Jeanette Parker
Dr. Jeanette Parker (File Photo)

Old Testament wisdom does not fail to give modern advice for the times of today – New Testament times. When Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, came to the Ahab, king of Israel, he does not appear to be aware that his friend had a proposition for him.  

The king of Israel wanted him to join in battle against Syria to recapture a territory, Ramoth Gilead. Being friends, Jehoshaphat was agreeable, saying in 1 Kings 22:1-7, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” The king of Israel had gathered together his four hundred men, his prophets. He relied on them for advice.  

However, as we continue in this narrative, we see it’s clear that they did not always give accurate advice. Jehoshaphat thought it more godly to inquire of the Lord today and not make rash decisions for such a critical undertaking of going to war.  

The king of Israel was not in agreement to call in a true prophet. The king of Israel asked his prophets, “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight or should I not do it?” They all agreed he should go and start the war. Further, they told him, the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.  

Jehoshaphat was still concerned and was cautious to make such a critical decision. He said, “There is a real prophet who will give you heavenly advice.” The king of Israel was against calling in Micaiah, the prophet. He thought that “Micaiah does not prophecy good for me, only bad things.” The real truth is that Micaiah would tell him the truth, but he didn’t want to know the truth. He just wanted to be soothed and pacified with lies from his 400 men.  

There was a royal meeting where the kings sat on their thrones. The prophets all testified the same thing predicting victory in the battle. The messenger who went to get Micaiah told Micaiah that he should make the same prediction of success in the battle. Micaiah, being a true prophet replied that he would only speak what the Lord tells him to speak.  

He comes to the king of Israel who asks him, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead or not?” Micaiah said, “Go ahead and prosper for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the King?” The king was very upset at him, because he never prophesied good to him and this time he prophesied good, which was unusual.  

Being pressed to tell the truth, Micaiah told him what the Lord had revealed to him – the Lord had put a lying spirit in the mouth of all the king’s prophets. Micaiah further said, “I saw Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These sheep have no shepherd. These sheep have no master. Let each return to his house peace.’”  

Thinking that the worse might happen, he disguised himself. When the captains of the chariots of the Syrian army saw Jehoshaphat, they thought it was the king of Israel, who they obviously knew who had led the battle. Jehoshaphat had been deceived. When the battle was raging and seeing that he would be killed, 2 Chronicles 18:31 says that Jehoshaphat shouted out a prayer “and the Lord helped him and God diverted them from him.”  

Ahab thought he was going to fool the Syrian army by disguising himself. But his precautionary measures and subterfuge didn’t work. Maybe more accurately stated, Ahab had gotten in over his head and thought he could not go wrong and embark on any failed battle by listening to his prophets. 

On the other hand, we see he had doubts evidenced by him wearing a disguise to deter the chariots from recognizing him. When the captains of the chariots saw it was not the king of Israel that they turned back from pursuing him. 

God cannot be fooled. “A certain man” drew a bow at random (random to them precision to God) and struck the king between the joints of his armor. Isn’t the Lord precision in His timing and in his instructions? We are advised to seek the Lord’s advice so we can give heavenly advice.  

Doesn’t this sound familiar for today?  Unfortunately, Micaiah was thrown in prison and fed water of affliction and bread of affliction. It’s like the Lord says in many places, “He will scatter our enemies, confound them and disgrace them.” His word does not fail. Jesus Christ is in charge all of the time! He rules!  

Thanks for reading! Jeanette Grattan Parker is the founder-superintendent of Today’s Fresh Start Charter School, 4514 Crenshaw Boulevard, L.A. 90043, 323-293-9826, www.todaysfreshstart.org, (Ask Dr. Jeanette TM) “Inquiring Minds Want to Know.” All articles are copyright. All rights reserved © [email protected]. Reference: The Word in Life Study Bible, MacArthur Study Bible and The Holy Bible. Any errors? Let me know.