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it is to teach us to depend on Him for happiness without it. He withholds no good thing from them that thus walk uprightly. Every thing we think good does not really prove so when we get it. And those who seek from the devil what God refuses, are sure to find as Ahab did, that the devil's gifts bring more misery than God's refusals.
O God, teach me to be content with such things as I have. May I never covet what belongs to others, or what Thou dost not see good to give me. May I quickly cast out every discontented wish that ever finds a place in my heart. May I find godliness is great gain. Having Jesus for
my Friend, and heaven for my home, and Thy glory for my aim in life, may I find true happiness and
peace that passeth understanding. Hear me for Jesus' sake. AMEN.
AHAB AND MICAIAH.
"And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and
smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness : wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me
out of the host ; for I am wounded. "And the battle increased that day; and the king
was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even : and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot." 1 KINGS XXII. 34, 35.
WE have here a very wonderful account of the way in which Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, came to his end. It had been foretold by the Lord that in the very place where Naboth's blood had been shed, there should Ahab, the murderer of Naboth, also have his blood licked up by the dogs. However unlikely this might seem, and whatever might be done by Ahab to prevent it, it was sure to come to pass, because God had said it. And so indeed it did in a wonderful way.
In the account given us in this chapter, we see Ahab thinking to act in such a way as to avoid the fulfilment of God's word.
But in doing so, we see him take such steps as were the very means of bringing about God's will.
God had appointed that he should fall in . battle at Ramoth Gilead. One would have thought that his blood would be spilled there, and not in Samaria, where Naboth had died. But so it was ; his blood stained the chariot in which he was wounded, and the chariot and his armour were washed in Samaria, in a place where the dogs had licked Naboth’s blood. Thus we read, “And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria : and the dogs licked up his blood, and they washed his armour ; according unto the word of the Lord which he spake.” Thus surely and speedily will vengeance overtake the murderer. The innocent blood of the murdered man cries unto the Lord, and it never cries in vain.
But let us go back to the beginning of the account of Ahab's fall, and see how he vainly tried to avoid that fall of which Micaiah the Lord's prophet had prophecied.
Ramoth in Gilead was a city that had once belonged to Israel, but had fallen into the hands of an enemy. It occurs to Ahab to take possession of it. He cannot do it alone, so he invites the king of Judah to
not that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, wilt thou go with nie to battle ?" With sinful weakness Jehoshaphat agrees to go with him. But Jehoshaphat, being a man who feared God, and was in the habit of seeking God, proposes on this occasion to begin by inquiring what God's will was. He said to the king of Israel, “Inquire I pray thee at the word of the Lord to day.”
We must remember that Ahab was a worshipper of Baal, and a believer in the prophets of Baal. But these were all false prophets, and only prophecied out of their own hearts. They always prophecied such things as they thought would please the king their master. No wonder then that the king of Judah should not be satisfied with their opinion about the war. der too that Ahab should, on the other hand, fear to have the advice or prophecy of any other prophet except his own.
Now all the false prophets came and gave their opinion, and when asked whether Ahab should go to Ramoth Gilead or not, they
. all agreed in saying, “Go up: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.”
Then came Micaiah's turn to prophecy : for when Jehosaphat asked about him, the
king of Israel said, “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 prophecy good concerning me, but
We gather from this, how faithful a prophet Micaiah was. And this was why he was a terror to the evil doer, Ahab. He had not scrupled to tell him the truth, and to reprove him for his sins. Just as John Baptist did to Herod. This naturally begets hatred towards the reprover. And as Ahab called Elijah his enemy, so now he says of Micaiah, “I hate him." And this is no more than all the faithful witnesses of God have found in all ages of the world. David was a prophet, and said, “They hated me without a cause." This the greatest of all prophets, Jesus Christ, applied to himself, (John xv.) and at the same time warned his disciples, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” Men who do dark deeds cannot but hate the light, as well as every spark of light which ever shines from a holy man and reflects light on their evil doings.
Micaiah is suffered to prophecy. Perhaps Ahab would have been ashamed to pass him over before the king of Judah.