1 Kings 22:29-4029 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is surely the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35 And the battle continued that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died. And the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. 36 And about sunset a cry went through the army, “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!” 37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria. 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, raccording to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did, and the ivory house that he built and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.
Trying to outwit God is a fool's errand but that doesn't stop us from trying sometimes. Through Micaiah, God told Ahab exactly what was coming for him because of his evil ways.
Despite the incredibly tumultous past between God and Ahab, this one last time, Ahab again believed that he could thwart the plans of God. He went to the battle in disguse, while sending the Judean king to battle in full regal regalia. Surely the enemy would kill Jehoshaphat and Ahab would escape yet again. But God is not that tricked and a "random" arrow finds a crease in Ahab's armor and he is slain. All of God's promises come true - even the gruesome ones!
Our efforts to trick God or slide out from under His judgments is always a crazy choice. But that doesn't always stop us from trying! Of course Ahab wasn't going to suddenly change his game plan. But - there was that opportunity. God held out the chance for repentance until the end. In the face of the fatal prophecy that Ahab received from Micaiah, he could have fallen to his knees and asked God for forgiveness. It would have been granted to him. But he remained stubborn and willful until his death. That doesn't mean that God would have lifted the parameters of the prophecy. But it may have meant a different outcome for Ahab after his death. We don't know where Ahab resides today. That is for God alone to determine. But from what we learn from the rest of the Bible, we know that Ahab could have found peace with God at any point during his life. God's mercy is so large that we always have a way back to Him through the blood of Jesus. Ahab didn't know about Jesus, but he did know that God had a plan for saving him from sin. He just refused to believe it and receive it. My take home point for today is that the next time I think I might slip around God's plan rather than submit to it, that random arrow through the chink in the armor is something to remember.