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Jehoshaphat and Ahab ignore God's message

Jehoshaphat listens to false prophets not the prophet of God.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Simplified Chinese
King Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honour. He then made a foolish alliance with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of the northern kingdom who worshipped false gods. – Slide 1
A marriage was arranged between King Ahab’s daughter Athaliah and Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram. – Slide 2
Nine years later King Ahab invited King Jehoshaphat to a feast in the capital city of his kingdom, Samaria. Many sheep and cattle were slaughtered for the occasion. – Slide 3
At the feast King Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, ‘Will you join me and go to war to capture Ramoth Gilead?’ – Slide 4
Ramoth Gilead was a city in the nation of Aram located on a mountain spur east of the Jordan river valley. Jehoshaphat replied, ‘My people are your people, my horses are your horses but first we need to get God’s advice.’ – Slide 5
Ahab summoned around 400 of his false prophets and asked, ‘Should I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or should I refrain?’ – Slide 6
‘Go,’ they answered, ‘for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.’ Their leader, Zedekiah, who had made iron horns, declared, ‘The Lord says you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’ Jehoshaphat was not convinced and asked, ‘Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord we can ask?’ – Slide 7
‘There is still one prophet of the Lord known as Micaiah,’ Ahab answered, ‘but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.’ Jehoshaphat insisted Micaiah was summoned. – Slide 8
A messenger was sent to fetch Micaiah. – Slide 9
The messenger advised the prophet, ‘Look, the other prophets are all predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.’ – Slide 10
But Micaiah said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.’ – Slide 11
When the prophet of the Lord arrived, King Ahab asked him, ‘Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?’ – Slide 12
The prophet spoke mockingly, ‘Attack and be victorious, for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.’ – Slide 13
The king said to him, ‘How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?’ Micaiah then gave him the real message from the Lord. – Slide 14
‘I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd. I heard the Lord saying, “These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’” Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?’ – Slide 15
Micaiah continued. ‘I saw the Lord sitting on His throne among the multitudes of heaven and someone asked, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ Finally a spirit offered to entice the king by deceiving all his prophets. The Lord has decreed disaster for you King Ahab.’ – Slide 16
Zedekiah, the leader of Ahab’s false prophets, went and slapped Micaiah in the face. – Slide 17
‘Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?’ he asked. Micaiah replied, ‘You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.’ – Slide 18
Ahab ordered that Micaiah be put in prison and fed only on bread and water until he returned safely from the battle. Micaiah declared, ‘If you return safely, then the Lord has not spoken through me.’ Then he added, ‘Mark my words, all you people!’ – Slide 19
Foolishly, Jehoshaphat ignored God’s warning through Micaiah. He joined forces with King Ahab and set off to attack Ramoth-Gilead. He even went along with Ahab’s plan that he would go to war in royal robes but Ahab would disguise himself.’ – Slide 20
The king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, ‘Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.’ When the commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes they turned to attack him, thinking he was Ahab.’ – Slide 21
But when Jehoshaphat cried out and they realised it was not Ahab, they stopped pursuing him. – Slide 22
Ahab, in his disguise, thought he was safe, but an arrow shot at random hit him between the sections of his armour. All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. Ahab was taken back to Samaria. (His chariot was washed at a pool and dogs gathered to lick his blood, just as the prophet Elijah had prophesied when Ahab had earlier murdered Naboth and stole his vineyard - 1 Kings 21:24). – Slide 23
The battle was lost but Jehoshaphat returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. – Slide 24
A prophet called Jehu went out to meet him. ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?’ he asked. ‘Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you. However, there is some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.’ – Slide 25
The king learnt his lesson and set out once more to turn the people of Judah and the hill country of Ephraim back to God. – Slide 26
He appointed judges in each of the fortified cities of Judah to settle disputes by God’s laws in fairness and justice and ban any bribery. – Slide 27
Levites were appointed to help people understand and obey God’s laws. – Slide 28
People were warned not to disobey God or His wrath would be on them. King Jehoshaphat had learnt the hard way that it is foolish to be persuaded by others to ignore what God says. – Slide 29
Slide 30