Sermon on 1 Kings 22 | God’s Word in a Prophet’s Mouth

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God’s Word in a Prophet’s Mouth (1 Kings 22)

God’s Word is powerful. “The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb. 11:3).

I’m not so sure we’re not talking about the same word of God. The written Word will create lives the way God wants. The spoken Word will create worlds the way God wants.

Ahab wanted to take Ramoth Gilead out of the hands of the king of Syria. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, had come down to visit Ahab. Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to go to war with him. Jehoshaphat agreed to go to war with Ahab.

We can learn much about God’s Word from this episode.

God’s Word is Difficult to Hear, vv 5-12

Before he went into battle, Jehoshaphat wanted to be certain God was on his side.

Ahab gathered 400 prophets together. All these prophets told Ahab to go into battle. These were probably 400 prophets of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess. These weren’t prophets of Yahweh.

Jehoshaphat wasn’t convinced, he wanted to know if there was another prophet.

Ahab says there is another prophet, Micaiah. But notice what Ahab says: “I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” In other words, Ahab didn’t like Micaiah, because Micaiah never told him what he wanted to hear.

But, Ahab told an officer to get Micaiah.

While the kings waited to Micaiah, they listened to the other prophets. Zedekiah made horns of iron and told the kings with such horns they would destroy the Syrians. All the other prophets said the same thing, telling Ahab and Jehoshaphat to go to Ramoth-Gilead.

Sometimes, hearing God’s word isn’t pleasant; it’s difficult. Ahab didn’t want to hear what Micaiah had to say. Hearing God’s word is difficult, because if often tells us we’re not what we ought to be. Hearing God’s word is difficult, because it often tells us we need to change.

God’s Word Requires Faithful Proclamation, vv 13-28

Micaiah replied, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” We need this kind of teaching in the church. We need this kind of teaching in the home.

Ahab calls Micaiah in and wants to know what God has said. Micaiah says, “Go up, the Lord will give the land into your hand.” Ahab could see right through that, and he wanted to know the truth. Micaiah said, “I saw Israel as sheep without a shepherd.” Ahab told Jehoshaphat, “See, I told you Micaiah didn’t like me.”

Micaiah says, “OK, Ahab, here’s what God has to say.” The Lord wanted to get rid of Ahab, he did more evil than any other king before him (l Ki. 16:30). Micaiah sees a vision where different spirits come before the Lord and tell how they would entice Ahab to go to Ramoth-Gilead to die. Finally, a deceitful spirit steps forth and says, “I’ll put a false word in the mouths of his prophets.” Micaiah finishes by saying, “the LORD has decreed disaster for you.”

Ahab put Micaiah in prison until he would come back in peace; Micaiah told Ahab, “If you return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.”

We need people who will say, “This is what God says.”

God’s Word Comes True, vv 29-40

Ahab told Jehoshaphat to wear his royal garments, but he was going to disguise himself.

The king of Syria wanted Ahab. The Syrian king had commanded his army to fight with no one except Ahab. When the army saw Jehoshaphat, they thought he was Ahab. The army turned to tight against him. Yet, when Jehoshaphat cried out, they stopped fighting against him.

However, a soldier unknowingly struck Ahab. Ahab had the driver of his chariot remove him from the battle. The king died that evening just like Micaiah said that he would. The dogs licked his blood just like Elijah had said (21:19).

When God says something, it will come true. God means what he says.

This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.

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