1 Kings 22:1-28

Sep 14, 2022    Pastor Daryl Zachman

Many years ago, I remember watching a game show called “To the Tell the Truth”. Three people would each claim to be a certain person, but only one was the real person. The celebrity panelists had to decide which one was telling the truth. In a world of competing voices where lies abound, how can we discern the truth? How can we know which voice to follow?

King Ahab asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah to join him in war against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat responded:

“‘I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.’ Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, ‘Please inquire for the word of the LORD today.’” (1 Kings 22:4-5, NKJV)

We wonder what Jehoshaphat was thinking that he would respond this way. Jehoshaphat was a righteous king, whereas Ahab was very wicked. It is always unwise for the righteous to make alliances with evil people. Moreover, it was God who had divided Israel into two kingdoms. Who was Jehoshaphat to think that he could reunite it? But at least Jehoshaphat had the presence of mind to inquire of the LORD.

This is the first step in spiritual discernment. We must inquire of God who has promised to give us wisdom for the asking (James 1:5-8).

In response to Jehoshaphat, Ahab gathered 400 prophets and asked them if they should go to war. They all responded, “Go up, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.” Surely 400 unified voices couldn’t be wrong…could they? There is a common misbelief that if the majority agrees, then it must be true. But Jesus said that the broad way leads to destruction and many are on it (Matthew 7:13). Little did anyone know at the time, but God had sent a lying spirit into the mouth of these prophets to lure Ahab into war and to his death! (1 Kings 22:19-23)

Once again Jehoshaphat had enough discernment to know that they didn’t need a bunch of yes men. They needed a legitimate prophet of Yahweh.

“But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?” (1 Kings 22:7, ESV)

It’s easy to think that if we have a consensus, then we must have the truth. But we are responsible to probe deeper. What has God said? God has given us the whole counsel of His Word to help us know the truth. He has also given us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

One prophet, Micaiah, gave the true word of the LORD that this war would end in disaster. So then why did Jehoshaphat still go out with Ahab? He had already told Ahab that he was one with Ahab. This is the danger of the mouth moving ahead of the brain! Think before you speak, and don’t act until you’ve heard from the LORD. If you’ve started down a path, and then discover that you are wrong, then promptly admit it. Humble yourself and deliver yourself from the trap! (Proverbs 6:1-5)