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man looking down into crevice June 17 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): 1Kings 21:1-29; 1Kings 22:1-35; 2Chronicles 18:2-34; 1Kings 22:36-40; 1Kings 22:51-53; 2Chronicles 19:1-3

Misguided

Every one of us has been led into error at one time or another, either by false advertising, by deceptive people, well-meaning friends or relatives, or by deceiving ourselves with wrong assumptions. How does this happen and what can we do to prevent it? Today’s Bible study gives us some help answering these questions.

In our last Bible reading we learned Ahab had received a victory from the LORD, but he did not complete the will of God; he let the evil king of Aram go free after he made a treaty with him. For that sin Ahab’s victory turned sour. Do we join ourselves with those who do not love and serve our God? If so, we are in danger of turning victories into losses for our disobedience (2Corinthians 6:14-18).

If we want God’s favor, we must have a personal relationship with Him and obey Him (more...). Ahab did not do this because he did not revere the LORD and was not thankful. At God’s pronounced judgment, Ahab left sullen and angry.

In today's Bible reading, King Ahab wants a beautiful vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. Naboth, however, determines to please the LORD; he refuses to sell or trade the vineyard because the property is from the inheritance of his forefathers (Leviticus 25:23-28; Numbers 36:7). Instead of accepting this, Ahab goes home and sulks. When his wife Jezebel sees him, she is disturbed. She thinks a king should have anything he wants. She does not care about the individual rights contained in Hebrew law.

To please Ahab, she conspires to take the property away from Naboth by framing him, with two false witnesses claiming that he cursed God (a capital offense in Israel, Leviticus 24:16) and the king. The plan works, but God is not pleased. He sends Elijah to tell Ahab that he will die in the same way as Naboth, without nobility, and dogs will lick up his spilled blood. Furthermore,

“…because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD. ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel-- slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin.’”
“And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’”
“Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country.” (1Kings 21:20-24, NIV)

Then the author of 1Kings makes this comment to summarize why God determines to destroy Israel’s king: “There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife” (1Kings 21:25, NIV). Ahab was misguided.

Three years following the war with Aram, the Arameans once again threaten Israel. This time Ahab invites King Jehoshaphat of Judah to join him in the battle. Perhaps because he is an ally by marriage, Jehoshaphat joins him. This is unwise because Jehoshaphat is a true servant of the LORD, while Ahab is a servant of many false gods.

Before going into battle, however, Jehoshaphat influences Ahab to ask the counsel of the LORD. The king of Israel brings together 400 prophets, but not until Jehoshaphat makes a specific request does he summon a prophet of the LORD. The 400 false prophets agree that Ahab should go into battle and be victorious, but Micaiah, the LORD's prophet, has a different opinion. He prophecies that Israel will be defeated, Ahab will die in battle, and the army will scatter.

Because of Micaiah's prophecy, the king of Israel devises a plan for his own protection. He disguises himself as a regular soldier but allows King Jehoshaphat to wear his royal robes. His sly plan, however, doesn't work. The Arameans press after King Jehoshaphat, thinking he is the king of Israel, but God saves him when they realize he is not the one they seek. During the conflict, however, an arrow shot at random hits King Ahab between the sections of his armor, and at sunset he dies.

So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there. They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared. (1King 22:37- 38, NIV)
When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.” (2Chronicles 19:1-3, NIV)

Lessons to Live By

  • If we want God’s favor, we must have a personal relationship with Him and obey Him (more...).
  • Those who think too highly of themselves can be easily deceived.
  • Do we surround ourselves with “Yes Men” or are we interested in the truth? Let's not allow ourselves to be misguided by popular opinions or those who are just trying to please us.
  • No one can fool God. If a person does not listen to God, he will inevitably suffer for it (we can find His instructions in His Word, the Bible).
  • Let's be loyal to the LORD, not misguided by the ungodly.
  • If we listen to the LORD and good Christian counsel we are less likely to be deceived.

Focus Verse

Psalm 25:5 (NIV) “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (more...)

praying hands Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

A Look Ahead: To whom do we look for Deliverance when we are in trouble? Jehoshaphat looks to the LORD. Join us for our Next Lesson.

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