There were three years of peace between Israel and Syria after Ahab’s apparent repentence. While the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, was visiting, Ahab asked if he would go down and help him liberate Ramoth in Gilead from Syria. Jehoshaphat agrees, but asks that they inquire of the Lord before launching an attack. They gathered close to 400 “prophets” from Israel who all foretold of Israel’s victory. “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” However, Jehoshaphat asked if there were any more prophets, and Ahab reluctantly told him about Micaiah.
1 Kings 22:8 (NKJV)
8 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”
And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!”
They sent for Micaiah, but in the meantime the remaining prophets used props and other creative methods to show how Ahab would win the battle. When Micaiah showed up, King Ahab practically ordered him to prophecy good over the king as the other prophets had done. Micaiah only promised to tell them what the Lord said.
1 Kings 22:15–18 (NKJV)
15 Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?”
And he answered him, “Go and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king!”
16 So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
17 Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’ ”
18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
Micaiah went on to say that the Lord had sent a lying spirit into all the other prophets in order to convince Ahab to fight Syria and be killed. Ahab had him imprisoned until he returned from war. Micaiah said that if he returned in peace, the Lord had not spoken!
Ahab and Jehoshaphat went into battle, but Ahab disguised himself from the Syrians. But an arrow was shot that went between the joints of his armor. He was propped up in the chariot, but died at evening. The blood ran onto the floor of the chariot, and when they washed the chariot later, the dogs licked up his blood, just as Elijah had prophesied. Ahab was buried in Samaria, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.
Ahab was an evil king, and an idolater. He was judged, but made at least a partial rapprochement with God through his humility. However, here in this moment of bravado, became arrogant again and went against the word of the Lord, choosing to believe the failed mass of prophets who spoke of his triumph to come. Be sure that when you have a decision to make, that you do not just listen to the majority, but rather seek out the true and solid voice of the Lord. His voice will guide you safely. The masses may stroke your ego, but they don’t always lead you rightly.