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After years of warfare, there is finally peace between Israel and Judah. Ironically, it joined Israel’s worst king (Ahab) with one of Judah’s best kings (Jehosphaphat). The unholy alliance with Ahab led to a fateful battle against Aram that almost cost Jehosphaphat his life. Judah’s king spurned later offers of cooperation, but his son married Ahab’s daughter. This unwise marriage exposed Judah to the evil practices of the North and ultimately led to a royal bloodbath.
1. Did you ever tell a big lie as a child? Were you caught? What happened?
2. Do you have a friend who is nothing but bad news? Why do you overlook all the negativity?
3. Have you ever been slapped on the cheek? Was it in jest or in real anger? Did you slap back, turn the other cheek or make up?
4. What peace treaty has Ahab struck with Aram (1 Kings 22:1, 2; 1 Kings 20:34; compare 1 Kings 15:20)? Where is Ramoth Gilead? What has apparently not happened?
5. Consider yesterday’s study about Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21) and Ahab’s meekness at the end of the chapter. Has Ahab recovered from his meekness (verse 4)? Or did Elijah’s prophecy make him feel invincible?
6. How “buddy-buddy” are Ahab and Jehoshaphat now (see also 2 Kings 8:16, 18)? What does Jehoshaphat’s request reveal about him (1 Kings 22:5, 7)?
7. If Jezebel killed the prophets of God and Elijah killed the prophets of Baal, who are these 400 men (1 Kings 22:6, 7)?
8. Is prophecy a fairly cushy, in-demand profession? How do the prophets answer Ahab and Jehoshaphat? What does Jehoshaphat make of this bunch?
9. What is the basis for Ahab’s assessment of a prophet (compare his attitude in today’s study with 1 King 18:17; 1 Kings 20:42; 1 Kings 21:20)? Is Ahab trying different prophets until he finds one who agrees with him? Why?
10. Who was the prophet of the Lord? How does Ahab feel about him? Why?
11. The messenger prompts Micaiah with what Ahab wants to hear. But why does Micaiah respond as he does? Is he lying? Teasing Ahab? What does Ahab think? How does he interpret Micaiah’s prophecy? Why?
12. How does Micaiah explain the deceit of the other prophets?
13. Why does Zedekiah slap Micaiah and ask a sarcastic question? How is he put in his place by Micaiah?
14. What is the test of Micaiah’s message? Why take Micaiah hostage?
- that will win God’s blessing
- a hungry Micaiah must pray for his welfare
- bad news prophets must be kept out of sight
15. How difficult is it to tell the truth no matter what? To family? At work? To God?
16. In what situations might lying be wise and/or necessary? Why?
17. Who or what makes a lie okay? Conversely, do you always have to tell everybody anything they ask? Can you protect yourself by letting people be mislead? What examples come to mind from this story and elsewhere?
18. Are you so stubborn that your closest friends must scheme to get you to hear their advice? Why are you always the last to know?
19. What price have you paid for telling the truth? Was it worth the cost?
20. What major decision of yours warrant outside counsel? Why do you follow some advice and ignore other views? How do you choose among conflicting opinions? Who is your final arbiter?