“Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure” – One Year Bible Reading – June 20

Old Testament: 1 Kings 22:1-53

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1 Kings 22:1-40  Mikey Likes It!

There were three years of peace but then Ahab realized he hadn’t gotten an important town back from Ben-hadad yet.  Jehosophat of Judah was a good king but allowed himself to get corrupted by Ahab (cf. 1 Cor. 15:33, Prov. 13:20).  Ahab asked him to support him in a war against Ben-hadad.  Jehosophat said, “Sure” (v. 4).  He just wanted Ahab to check things out with Yahweh first, not a bad request.  All of the 400 prophets of Israel agreed that Ahab should attack Ben-hadad.  Then Jehosophat asked, “Do you have anyone else?”

Ahab said he had one other prophet but he didn’t like him.  He said the other prophet was always saying bad stuff about him and he hated him (v. 8).  Jehosophat said, “That’s OK.  Let’s hear from him.”  So he had the prophet brought in.  His name was Micaiah.  He is one of my heroes.  My guess is he was raised in New Jersey.  He always talked straight.

When Micaiah was asked if Ahab and Jehosophat should attack Ben-hadad, he said, “Yeah.  Sure.  That’s a great idea. Hurry up and attack and the Lord will give him over to you.”  His words were dripping with sarcasm just like he was from Hoboken.

Ahab moaned, “Aw. C’mon.  That’s just what I’m talking about.  Do you see what I mean?  How many times do I have to tell you to just tell me what the Lord tells you?”

So Micaiah said, “I see all Israel scattered and without a king to lead them.  They’re all heading for home” (v. 17).

So Ahab said again, “See what I’m talking about?  He never says anything good about me.”

Micaiah continued, “I saw the Lord on His throne with all of the host of heaven around Him.  Yahweh asked who would lie to Ahab for him and tell all the prophets that he’d be successful when he’d actually be coming to destruction?”  Micaiah said a lying spirit volunteered for the assignment.

One of Ahab’s prophets was a little offended by all this so whacked Micaiah in the head and asked him when the Spirit had moved from him to Micaiah.  Micaiah said he’d figure it out after he was thrown in prison for a while.  So Ahab had Micaiah thrown in prison where most good prophets are found anyway.  He was put on a diet of bread and water.  Micaiah said, “That’s OK.  If you come back healthy, then the Lord didn’t speak through me.”  Micaiah knew that the proof of a true prophet is that everything they say turns out to be 100% correct (Deut. 18:17-22; Num. 16:28-30).

Ahab pulled a fast one.  He knew Jehosophat would go into battle in his king’s attire so he dressed like a regular soldier to disguise himself.  He knew Ben-hadad would be looking for him.  After the battle started, the men of Ben figured out that Jehosophat wasn’t the king of Israel so they left him alone.   But Yahweh basically sent a drone to kill Ahab.  One of the Ben men pulled out an arrow and fired at random.  He found a spot between the parts of Ahab’s armor.  The king was propped up in his chariot while he bled out.  All the people dispersed back to their homes.  The king was brought back to Samaria to be buried.  The chariot was washed out by the pool of Samaria and the dogs lapped up all the blood.

1 Kings 22:40-53   Here Comes The Sons

Meanwhile, back in Judah, Jehosophat was king from the fourth year of Ahab and reigned for twenty-five years until he was sixty years-old.  He was as good a king as his father, Asa, but still did not pull down the places of idol-worship up on the hills. He threw out the male prostitutes that were part of the pagan worship.  But he also made the mistake of aligning himself with Ahab to fight Ben-hadad.  On the other hand, he refused to team with Ahab’s son who wanted to pool resources to go and find gold. When Jehosophat died, his son, Jehoram, took over.

Ahab’s son, Ahaziah, took over for him after Jehosophat had ruled in Judah for seventeen years.  He only ruled for two years.  He was about as evil as Ahab was.  He was a Baal-worshipper and made Yahweh very mad just like his dad.

New Testament:  Acts 13:16-41

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Acts 13:16-41  Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure

In our last episode, the synagogue officials had asked if the disciples had any word of exhortation for the congregation.  Paul raised his hand and then gave a sermon.

Paul recounted the history of the Jews from the time they left Egypt and wandered through the desert, had judges, a great prophet in Samuel, anointed a king and then replaced him with David.  God promised that one of David’s descendants would be a Savior to Israel.  He told how John the Baptist opened the way for Jesus.

Paul told them that Christ had been proclaimed in their Scriptures every week though they didn’t realize it and, in fact, the religious leaders had Jesus put to death by the Romans though there was no reason for it.  He related how Jesus was put in a tomb but God raised Him from the dead  and proved it by having Him appear to many in Jerusalem.  Paul quoted Psalm 2:7, Ps. 16:10; Is. 55:3 and 28:14 to support his case.

Paul told them that the law of Moses could not free them from their sin but belief in Christ could result in the forgiveness of sins.  Talk about exhortations!  He quoted Habakkuk 1:5 to encourage them to believe so they would not have to endure the consequences:  judgment!

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