Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, made a marriage alliance with Ahab, the king of Israel. The king of Israel was wicked. The danger for Jehoshaphat was that Ahab would entangle him in some evil project that would bring trouble upon Judah.
This is exactly what took place. Ahab induced Jehoshaphat to go to war with him against one of Israel’s adversaries. Yet before moving ahead with this military campaign, Jehoshaphat wanted to inquire of the Lord. Ahab brought forward 400 prophets all speaking of his victory, but Jehoshaphat was rightly suspicious. He called for yet another prophet, and Ahab reluctantly summoned prophet 401, Micaiah, the son of Imlah.
Micaiah also spoke words of victory for Israel, but this time Ahab was suspicious. With just a little provocation from Ahab, Micaiah revealed the true workings of the heavenly council that would lead to the death of Ahab on the field of battle.
Why would Jehoshaphat continue with this joint plan of war after the word from Micaiah? Not only did he go forth in battle, but he even allowed himself to remain arrayed in royal robes while Ahab disguised himself. If anyone wanted to kill a king they would have aimed their arrows at Jehoshaphat thinking him to be Ahab. But in the heat of the battle the Lord helped Jehoshaphat. Ahab’s destiny was quite different. He was killed in what seemed like a most unlikely turn of divine providence.
One of the tests of a true spokesman for the Lord is whether the prophecies that he speaks come to pass. Micaiah was a true prophet. He had proven the other 400 prophets to be false. His words to Ahab prior to the battle had been vindicated: “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.”
When Jesus of Nazareth prophesied about a death, it was not the death of another man, but His own. Like Micaiah, His words were true, but even His disciples were unwilling to receive the message that He gave. He accurately spoke to them about His suffering, death, and resurrection. Even those evil leaders of God’s people who were planning Jesus’ demise did not accurately predict the events that they accomplished. Nor did they understand the meaning of our great King’s death. Jesus knew what He was doing. He came to die for us in the battle of ages. He secured life for us through His death. He was lifted up on the cross. He had spoken very accurately in John 12:32 about what would be accomplished in that place of punishment: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”