2 Chr 18:16 Then [Micaiah] 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.’ “
This chapter describes the story of when Ahab, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, go to battle against the king of Syria. Ahab is a wicked king, who constantly rebels against God. Ahab has asked Jehoshaphat to join him in the battle to recapture the city of Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat asks Ahab that they inquire of the Lord about the outcome of the battle and all the prophets declare that the battle will be a great victory. However, there is one other prophet who declares that the battle will be a disaster. He also explains why the other prophets have said it will succeed. He informs the two kings that a lying spirit has put this prophecy of victory in the mouths of the prophets, in order that Ahab goes up to battle and is slain. Ahab does not abandon his plans to go to battle, but disguises himself so that he will not be killed. However, he is killed by a randomly fired arrow.
It is perhaps worth pondering on the monumental foolishness that a man can exhibit. God has already declared his antipathy towards Ahab, because of his evil in killing Naboth. Reather than leave Ahab ignorant of the scheming of the lying spirit, God sends this other prophet to tell Ahab exactly what is happening. Ahab now had all the facts he needs to make a sensible and informed decision. And that right decision would be to repent of his wickedness and throw himself on God’s mercy, if perhaps he could be forgiven of his sin.
Ahab knew that God was displeased with him. He knew that God planned to avenge the death of Naboth and Ahab knew how this would accomplished. And yet, he believed by the simple subterfuge of a disguise, he would be able to circumvent God’s stated purpose. What utter folly!
These stories are there for us to learn from. If you have drifted away from the Lord and are no longer walking faithfully with Him, there will always be an opportunity to return. We must never think that we have gone too far; there is always hope. As it says a little later in the same book, 2Chr 30:9b … the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.” But, if we reject the warnings that God gives us, we will only have ourselves to blame for what happens next.