After 3 years the fruit of Ahab's doing's begins to come to maturity. 1st Kings 22:1-8 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses. And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day. Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and 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. And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.
The king of Judah visits Ahab and Ahab talks him into an alliance against Syria. Jehoshaphat agrees but wisely wants to ask God about it first. Ahab brings in about 400 prophets and it is apparent that Jehoshaphat recognizes them as prophets of some other God than Jehovah. Remember in the first part of this study that Elijah had dealt with 850 false prophets and here we find that Ahab and Jezebel have reestablished the practice. This is the main point of what i am trying to communicate in this particular study. You can apply whatever remedy you wish to the symptom but until you get to the root of the problem you will never rid yourself or your people of the disease. The disease is sin and the root is the devil and our willingness to believe him instead of God. In this case the root found a willing host in Jezebel and Ahab to a lesser degree. Ahab would probably have been a rotten king without Jezebel but with her influence the lack of character in him was magnified. You can kill all the false prophets, destroy all the idols, take whatever action you can think of and still the devil finds a way to corrupt. Until he is cast into the abyss and then into the lake of fire, the only remedy is to believe God and obey His word. Just in case there are any visitors that may not be Christians already, God sent His Son Jesus to become a sacrifice so we humans could wipe the slate clean and to give us the privilege of being changed into a new person, without that it is difficult or impossible to resist the things we do that destroy us. If you have any questions about this or other spiritual matters, e-mail me or leave a message on the board and i'll answer the best i can, even if it's an "i don't know". Back to the point, remember that when Jesus comes the devil will be bound in the abyss for a thousand years and amazingly, when he is let go is able to deceive the people into attacking God's people again. This, and personal experience as well, tells me that he is very good at deception, and his greatest deception of all is convincing people that he doesn't exist, or is somehow unable to affect "me" for whatever reason. Once you become a Christian he must get permission from one of two sources to do more than tempt you. One source is God, the other is you. If you are involved in things that the word tells you not to be, you make yourself vulnerable. Remember Ahab in the episode with Naboth's field. Ahab committed the sin of coveting Naboth's field, he then followed his passions and tried to buy it. Even though that was as far as Ahab was willing to go himself, the devil picked it up from there and took him all the way to the murder of Naboth, involving as many people as he could in the process. It has been said that sin will take you further than you want to go, and make you pay more than you are willing to pay. Ahab's bill was about to come due.
Before we go on in the story, notice that when Jehoshaphat asks if there is a prophet of the Lord to inquire of, that Ahab 1 doesn't mention Elijah, no surprise, and that 2 the prophet that he does mention he is hostile towards. Now in Ahab's twisted mind prophesying good meant go along with what i want to do and make me feel good about it, when in actuality the prophet that tells the truth, even when you don't like the truth is the one that really cares about you. In my humble opinion false prophets and those who make them rich are two peas in a pod and deserve each other. Well lets pick the story back up and see what happens to Ahab.
1st Kings 22:9-23 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah. And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them. And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the king's hand. And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak. 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. And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord? And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil? And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: 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 on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.
This is an amazing encounter in more ways than one, here we see that the messenger tries to get Micaiah the real prophet to agree with the false prophets, Micaiah replies that he will only say what the Lord tells him and then proceeds to agree with the false prophets. King Ahab rebukes him for lying and when the prophet tells the truth turns to king Jehoshaphat and says see i told you. Talk about a confused puppy, Ahab must have not known which way was up. The prophet then describes a scene in heaven which i had a lot of trouble with for a while, the concept that God could direct a spirit to lie, though it was the spirit's idea. For some more input, read the following from Ezekiel 14:7-9 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. Please don't misunderstand as i did for a while, i don't believe that God would lie, however if you allow someone to believe something that will destroy them that is another matter. Here is an opportunity to try to explain something that seems like a paradox. Is God in control? It seems like the answer is yes and no, a paradox? there are no paradoxes only things we don't understand yet. Yes! God is in control, absolutely, completely, to the precise degree that He wants to be. No! God is not in control of the choices you make, including what you choose to believe. No more than you parents are in control of what your children choose to believe or do. You have input and influence, and a lot more control when they are young and totally dependent on you, however the way it works is that they grow up and learn to choose for themselves. They even make bad choices and hopefully learn from them. If you tried to control their every thought and action they would either never grow up or grow up hating you. I'll repeat something that i said earlier, if you see God in any other way than Jesus described Him, as Father, you will never understand the Bible, or the purpose for this life for that matter. As for Ahab, i am reminded of what Jesus said in John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. The truth was told to him, he even demanded that the prophet tell him the truth, and yet he CHOSE the lie, because his deeds were evil.
Well, this is getting long so i'll try to wrap it up. Read chapter 22 down to the 40th verse to see what happens to Ahab. Here are some verses to read to see what happens to his son's and to Jezebel, in the interest of saving space i'll just give the reference, you'll have to look them up yourself. Ahab's son Ahaziah, 2nd Kings chapter 1; Ahab's son Jehoram, 2nd Kings chapter 9, Ahab's 70 other sons, 2nd Kings 10:1-17. What ever happened to that evil Jezebel? Here it is, 2nd Kings 9:30-37 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
If some of you are interested, the sister of Ahab Athaliah was as bad as Ahab, she married Jehoram, king of Judah, her son Ahaziah was a king of Judah, and she even took the throne for a short time herself, killing all the royal seed of David except Joash.
As for Jezebel's legacy she is remembered all the way to the book of Revelations as an evil woman and influence. Rev.2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. One of the few old testament characters to have an evil attitude and lifestyle named after them. I suspect there is a lot more to discover in this passage in Revelations but we will save that for another day.