BIBLE TEXT: I Kings 22:1-28
QUESTION TO CONSIDER: Do you ever find it hard to speak the truth when it’s not popular? Let’s learn to be bold like Micaiah!
BIBLE LESSON: King Ahab of Israel was mad. The city of Ramoth-Gilead rightfully belonged to the people of Israel, but the Syrians had taken possession of it years ago. Ahab wanted it back! Three years of peace had passed between Israel and Syria, but Ahab did not care about keeping the peace any longer. He was ready to go to war. He knew he would need some help if he was going to be victorious, so he asked Jehoshaphat the king of Judah to go to battle with him. Now Jehoshaphat was a good king who followed the Lord faithfully. He knew that Ahab was a king who did not follow the Lord but worshiped idols instead. Jehoshaphat still wanted to help the nation of Israel, but he was wise enough to know that there was something important they needed to do before going into battle against Syria.
Read I Kings 22:5. Jehoshaphat did not like to make quick decisions based on what he thought was right, but instead, he would first ask the Lord what to do. That’s a great example for us to follow, isn’t it? Sometimes, we think we know what is right and best, but if it is not what the Lord says is right, then we should not do it.
King Ahab called about 400 prophets together to ask all of them in front of King Jehoshaphat if they should go to battle against Syria. Read I Kings 22:6. Every one of these men gave King Ahab the same answer. He probably thought that such a large number of men all giving the same answer would be impressive to Jehoshaphat, but it wasn’t. Jehoshaphat knew that these men were not true prophets of God but false ones. He was not satisfied.
Jehoshaphat asked Ahab if there was at least one prophet of God in the land that they could ask what the will of the Lord was in this matter. Ahab did know of one such prophet, but he did not like him at all! Why? Read I Kings 22:8. Ahab actually hated Micaiah, the prophet of God, all because Micaiah never said anything that Ahab liked to hear. Sometimes, people get angry at the truth, don’t they? It is not what they want to hear. God’s Word is truth and sometimes people get angry when they hear it because they don’t like what it says. Can you think of any examples of a truth in God’s Word that is not popular and makes people angry today? Micaiah didn’t care about being popular. He cared about speaking God’s truth!
King Ahab ordered Micaiah to be brought before them. The two kings sat on thrones in their royal robes waiting for him to come. While they waited, the 400 false prophets may have felt a little uncomfortable. Why weren’t their words good enough for King Jehoshaphat? They tried even harder to convince him. One man named Zedekiah made horns of iron as a visual aid to show the kings that they would violently destroy the Syrians. All of the prophets spoke the same message to encourage the kings to go to battle. What did they say? Read I Kings 22:12.
Meanwhile…the messenger who went to fetch Micaiah had some advice for him. He told Micaiah what all of the other prophets had been saying and that he should go along with the crowd and encourage the two kings to go to battle. What did Micaiah say to him? Read I Kings 22:14. Good answer! Micaiah could have been tempted to just go along with everyone else so he wouldn’t stand out or get into any trouble, but he knew that it would not be the right thing to do. He knew he must be bold and speak the truth because that is what God wanted him to do.
Micaiah arrived and stood before the two kings. Ahab asked him if he should go to war with Syria and take back Ramoth-Gilead or not. At first, Micaiah tells him to go ahead, just like all of the other prophets had said. Wait a minute! Why did he do that? Remember, Micaiah had prophesied to King Ahab before and Ahab never liked (or listened to) what Micaiah had to say. Micaiah knew that Ahab was going to do exactly what he wanted to do, whether the Lord wanted him to do it or not.
Ahab knew something was seriously wrong! Micaiah NEVER agreed with him or his prophets. He asked him a second time and this time he demanded the truth which is exactly what Micaiah gave him. Micaiah said if Ahab went to battle, Israel would be like a bunch of sheep scattered on the mountains with no shepherd to lead them anymore. In other words, Israel would lose the battle and lose their king. Ahab would die. Well, that did it! Ahab looks at Jehoshaphat and basically says, “See! I told you so!” I Kings 22:18 says, And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
Micaiah went on to explain that the Lord wanted the false prophets to persuade Ahab to go to battle because the Lord was judging Ahab for his wickedness. He was to die in battle. Ahab was so angry at the truth, the word of the Lord that was spoken by Micaiah, that he immediately issued an order. Read I Kings 22:26-27.
Micaiah was put into prison because he spoke truth that wasn’t popular. Micaiah was not afraid to stand up to King Ahab. He was not afraid to face imprisonment or even death for doing what was right. Micaiah was bold and courageous because he served God and he knew that God was with him. Hebrews 13: 6 tells us, So we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Read I Kings 22:29-36 to see what happened to Ahab. What steps did Ahab take to try to be successful in spite of the message of the Lord? Did the prophecies of Micaiah come true?
- Who was the king of Judah? Who was the king of Israel?
- What country did King Ahab want to go to war against?
- Which king wanted to ask the Lord what to do?
- How many false prophets told King Ahab that he should go to war and he would be successful?
- What happened to Micaiah for telling the truth?
- I Kings 22:14 – And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” (NKJV)
- Hebrews 13:6 – So we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (NKJV)
WORD OF THE WEEK: BOLD – strong, alert, courageous, steadfastly-minded
Hebrew word – amets (aw-mats’) אָמַץ
*Hebrew was the original language of the Old Testament. Greek was the original language of the New Testament.
DID YOU KNOW? Ramoth-Gilead was originally one of the 3 cities of refuge on the east side of the Jordan River in the Israelite nation. A city of refuge was a place one could flee to for safety if he had accidentally killed someone (committed manslaughter). See Deuteronomy 4:41-43
- Visit this link and click on the Play button below Heroes of the Bible, Volume II to listen to an audio version of this Bible story.
- God’s Truth vs. Popular Opinion – There are many opinions and beliefs in the world around us today that go directly against what the Bible says is true. Take a piece of paper and make two columns. Write the heading “God’s Truth” at the top of one column and “Popular Opinion” at the top of the other. Write down as many examples as you can think of with a verse in the “God’s Truth” column and the world’s view in the Popular Opinion column. Here’s one to get you started: God’s Truth – Proverbs 6:16-17, The Lord hates a lying tongue. Popular Opinion – A little white lie is no big deal. Remember, it doesn’t matter what popular opinion is; God’s Word is truth! (John 17:17)
- “I’m Thinking of a BOLD Bible character” Game – Micaiah was not afraid of Ahab and showed boldness in speaking before the king. Can you think of any other Bible examples who were bold even when faced with danger? For this game, let one player think of a bold Bible character but not tell anyone else who it is. When he says, “Ready,” let the other players take turns asking yes or no questions to find out who it is. Questions might include, “Is your person a man?” “Is your person in the New Testament?” “Did your person fight a giant?” And so on. The first person who correctly guesses gets to pick the next character and play continues. When the game is over, talk about how these bold Bible characters encourage you to be bold for the Lord.
- Prophet’s Scroll Color-by-number page link (SundaySchoolZone.com)- 02-prophets-scroll-color-by-number_002
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