There Micaiah stands opposite four hundred prophets, representatives of the religious class and opposite the highest rulers, the representatives of the whole people. Because the rulers rule over God’s people, they are also religious leaders. The sight alone must make a great impression on Micaiah. The grim, hostile atmosphere will have struck him. The loner opposite the mass. The messenger who has picked him up has already tried to influence him to speak as the others and not to speak as a loner opposite all.
By the power of faith and trust in the LORD, Micaiah does not succumb to the pressure. On the contrary, he mocks the whole company. This is clear from his first answer. In this answer he seems to say the same as the other prophets have said and thus seems to join them. But there is a heavy sarcastic undertone in what he says. He imitates the four hundred and pretends to be one of them. Achab feels that too. He realizes that what Micaiah says is meant to be sarcastic. He is therefore not satisfied with this answer. He wants to know what the real message of Micaiah is.
Micaiah answers with what he has seen and heard in a vision. He describes that the intended mission will result in a scattering of the people. The reason for this is that the people have no leader who trusts in God. A leader who lets the people trust in God keeps God’s people together (Num 27:16-1716“May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation,17who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”). A leader who does not take God into account, forsakes the people and the sheep become the wolf’s prey (Jn 10:1212He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters [them].). With the Lord Jesus is concern for sheep that have no shepherd (Mt 9:3636Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.) and to His disciples He speaks of the striking down of the shepherd and the scattering of the sheep (Mt 26:3131Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP OF THE FLOCK SHALL BE SCATTERED.’).
After this prophecy, Ahab addresses Jehoshaphat and points out that he is right with what he said about Micaiah. Do you see that Micaiah is a prophet of doom? But Ahab looks no further, blinded eyes by the prince of darkness as he has.
But Micaiah is not finished yet. He has another message. From that message it appears that there is an invisible world that lets these four hundred prophets say what Ahab likes to hear. But Micaiah may stand before Ahab as a prisoner, the word of the LORD cannot be bound. Ahab served the idols and with them the demons. Baal does not exist as a dead idol; Baal however does exist because of the demons behind it. In the invisible world, demons are working together to mislead people with death as the end result.
We can make an application for today. In the great Christianity it is no longer about what God’s Word says, but about what one likes to hear and what connects to the experience. The charismatic movement is particularly responsible for this. In many cases we have to conclude that there are spiritual powers behind this that leads people away from Christ and from the Word of God because it is purely about the feeling of man.
It is becoming increasingly clear how wrong certain influences are, especially by songs that are sung. Several songs contain statements about, for example, the atonement, which remove aspects of the atonement of the Lord Jesus or highlight them in a way that is not in accordance with the Word. We must clearly warn against this, because it leads people away from obedience to the Word and from the uniqueness of Christ and His work. Therefore we must also be clear to ourselves by asking about the will of God in every situation, which comes down to asking: What does the Word of God say?
Micaiah says from a new vision that the demons are ultimately under the authority of God. What Micaiah sees in the vision, is presented to us humanly, so we can understand it. We are witnessing a discussion that is starting. One says this, the other that, all very human. Then a spirit comes and says: “I will entice him.” After a question from the LORD and an answer from the spirit, the LORD says: ““You are to entice [him] and also prevail. Go and do so.” We clearly see that the LORD is in charge in this whole event. He finally determines the deployment of evil spirits and the success in wat they undertake. The evil spirits also serve His purpose, against their will.
We see the calamity that God has decided about Ahab. That calamity is certain (verse 2323Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.”), there is no change to be made. It is also certain how that calamity will occur: “The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’” (verse 2020The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that.)?
Through this message, the uprising in the heart of Zedekia becomes public. Zedekiah claims that what he said is by the Spirit and that it cannot be by Micaiah. His pretentious words are accompanied by violence. He strikes Micaiah on the cheek. People of the world cannot assume that the four hundred are wrong and that one is right. Micaiah would be the only one who has the Spirit of the LORD? There is a unanimous testimony of the masses. Are only those few faithful Christians right?
Micaiah does not protest against the mistreatment. He only says that it will become clear that his words are truth. Zedekiah will notice this when he flees and is anxious to find a place where he can be safe from judgment, a place he will seek in vain.
The ‘reward’ Achab has for Micaiah for speaking the truth is being locked up in prison. The words spoken by Ahab with the order for confinement give Micaiah another reason to testify. There is no fear to be noticed with this man of God. Violence and prison do not lead him to a change in his message. He does not compromise, but preaches the pure Word of God. Every abuse leads him to pronounce a confirmation of what he has said.
In all of this there is no moderation or self-exaltation. He points out that he has spoken God’s words and that their truth will be proven in the fulfillment of what he has announced. He even dares to add that he will prove to be a liar when Ahab returns in peace, so when his words will not come true (cf. Deu 13:1-41“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.4You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.; 18:20-2220But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’21You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’22When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.).
In his closing words he no longer addresses Ahab, but all peoples. He makes his words a testimony to all peoples. Later another prophet, Micah, will speak the same words (Mic 1:22Hear, O peoples, all of you;
Listen, O earth and all it contains,
And let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.
). It is a word that relates to the Lord Jesus and the time when He will be famous among the peoples.