True and False Prophets

Lesson 19

Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, wanted to recapture the town of Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. But he needed help, so he asked good King Jehoshaphat of Judah to join his campaign against their common enemy. Jehoshaphat said he was willing to join forces with Ahab, but that they should first seek God's counsel.

Ahab had forsaken the Lord years earlier to worship the pagan god Baal, so he called in 400 hired prophets to 

come before the two monarchs. With dramatic display, these false prophets said, "Go and fight the Syrians, and you will be victorious!" But King Jehoshaphat requested to hear from a true prophet of the Lord. Ahab said that there was one prophet of Jehovah left whose name was Micaiah, but he added, "I hate him for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." Verse 8.

At Jehoshaphat's insistence, Ahab reluctantly sent a servant to fetch Micaiah. The brave prophet came and made a very unpopular prediction. He told Ahab that he would die in the battle with Syria. Now Ahab faced a tough decision. Should he believe 400 prophets who say nice things, or one lone prophet of the Lord?

Stubborn King Ahab persuaded Jehoshaphat to disregard the warnings of the prophet Micaiah and join him in the war. He thought he could outsmart the Lord by dressing in full armor and avoiding the front lines of battle. But Ahab learned too late that you can never escape the Word of God. During the battle, a stray arrow flying through the air struck Ahab in the joints of his armor, and he bled to death in his chariot.

Jesus warned that there will be many false prophets in the last days (Matthew 24:11). That is why we must know how to distinguish the true from the counterfeit. It may be a matter of life or death!