Lesson 10 | Sabbath, 7 March 2020
“The message given man to proclaim in these last days is not to be amalgamated with worldly opinions. In these days of peril, nothing but obedience will keep man from apostasy. God has bestowed on man great light and many blessings. But unless this light and these blessings are received, they are no security against apostasy and disobedience. When those whom God has exalted to positions of high trust turn from Him to human wisdom, their light becomes darkness, and how great is that darkness! Their entrusted capabilities are a snare to them….
“There always has been, and till the conflict is ended, there always will be a departing from God. Sins have a close connection. One act of disobedience, unless repented of, leads to another. He who justifies himself in sin is led on step by step in deception, till at length he sins with impunity.” –The Upward Look, p. 318.
Challenges to God’s servant
- How did the Zedekiah, the self-proclaimed prophet, challenge the prophet Micaiah? What did the Lord’s servant reply?
1 Kings 22:24, 25 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee? 25And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.
“Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much.
‘If thou hadst known,’ said Christ, ‘even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.’” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 409, 410.
“These false prophets will have to be met. They will make an effort to deceive many, by leading them to accept false theories. Many scriptures will be misap- plied in such a way that deceptive theories will apparently be based upon the words that God has spoken. Precious truth will be appropriated to substantiate and establish error. These false prophets, who claim to be taught of God, will take beautiful scriptures that have been given to adorn the truth, and will use them as a robe of righteousness to cover false and dangerous theories. And even some of those who, in times past, the Lord has honored, will depart so far from the truth as to advocate misleading theories regarding many phases of truth, including the sanctuary question.” –Evangelism, p. 360.
- What was King Ahab’s opinion of what Micaiah prophesied? What wicked command did he give?
1 Kings 22:26, 27 And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; 27And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.
“Those who are loyal to God’s law will not always find the way smooth. God has not promised His people exemption from trials, but He has promised that which is far better. He has said: ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be.’ ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ ‘The God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation.’” –Signs of the Times, March 3, 1890.
“In all ages Satan has persecuted the people of God. He has tortured them and put them to death, but in dying they became conquerors. They revealed in their steadfast faith a mightier One than Satan. Satan could torture and kill the body, but he could not touch the life that was hid with Christ in God. He could incarcerate in prison walls, but he could not bind the spirit. They could look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, ‘I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ ‘Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 30.
The true prophecy despised
- Certain of the prophecy that he had given to the king from the Lord, what did Micaiah say? What did his answer show?
1 Kings 22:28, first part And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me.
“All that God has in prophetic history specified to be fulfilled in the past has been, and all that is yet to come in its order will be. Daniel, God’s prophet, stands in his place. John stands in his place. In the Revelation the Lion of the tribe of Ju- dah has opened to the students of prophecy the book of Daniel, and thus is Daniel standing in his place. He bears his testimony, that which the Lord revealed to him in vision of the great and solemn events which we must know as we stand on the very threshold of their fulfillment.” –Selected Messages, book 2, p. 109.
- What was revealed by the fact that Ahab proceeded with his plan, disguised himself, and went on the battlefield?
1 Kings 22:29, 30 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. 30And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.
“The words of the prophet should have been enough to show the kings that their project was not favored by Heaven, but neither ruler felt inclined to heed the warning. Ahab had marked out his course, and he was determined to follow it. Jehoshaphat had given his word of honor, ‘We will be with thee in the war;’ and after making such a promise, he was reluctant to withdraw his forces. 2 Chronicles 18:3.
‘So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.’ 1 Kings 22:29.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 196.
The consequences of rebellion
- What enormous risk did Jehoshaphat take when he entered the battlefield against Syria? What promise did this faithful king of Judah see come to pass?
1 Kings 22:31-33 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel. 32And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.
Psalm 34:19, 20 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. 20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
“We should keep our minds upon the love, the mercy, and the graciousness of our God…. It is no sign that Jesus has ceased to love us because we experience doubts and discouragements. Affliction comes to us in the providence of God in order that we may see that Christ is our Helper, that in Him is love and consolation. We may receive grace whereby we may be overcomers and inherit the life that measures with the life of God. We must have such an experience that when affliction comes upon us we shall not depart from the faith….” –That I May Know Him, p. 278.
- What occurred during the battle? What happened to Ahab that confirmed the prophecy that he had been given shortly before? What is inevitable when one deliberately goes against God’s omniscient will?
1 Kings 22:31, 34 But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel…. 34And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.
Proverbs 6:27, 28 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? 28Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
“It is too late in the day for a superficial work. It is time to arise and shine, for the glory of God has risen upon you. It is too late to play into the hands of the enemy. The plowshare must go deep; the fallow ground must be broken up. We need to have our hearts broken. We need to feel how offensive is sin before God. We are to keep the heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” –Review and Herald, March 12, 1889.
- What happened in this battle, thus ending Ahab’s practice of ignoring God’s prophets and trusting false prophets? What will happen to anyone who believes falsehood?
1 Kings 22:35-38 And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. 36And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country. 37So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. 38And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the Lord which he spake.
“Ben-hadad, king of Syria, had defeated the armies of Israel in the battle which resulted in the death of Ahab.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 244.
“During the battle that followed, Ahab was shot by an arrow, and at eventide he died. ‘About the going down of the sun,’ ‘there went a proclamation throughout the host,’ ‘Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.’ Verse 36. Thus was fulfilled the word of the prophet.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 196.
- Exactly the opposite of the rebellious, self-centered Ahab’s actions, what did Jesus, God’s Son, do? Following His example, what will be the desire and prayer of God’s faithful followers?
Psalm 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
“He stepped down from His throne, He left His crown and royal scepter, and clothed His divinity with humanity. He humbled Himself even to the death of the cross, that man might be exalted to a seat with Him upon His throne. In Him we have a complete offering, an infinite sacrifice, a mighty Saviour, who is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. In love He comes to reveal the Father, to reconcile man to God, to make him a new creature renewed after the image of Him who created him.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 160.
“Willingly and cheerfully Christ gave Himself to the carrying out of the will of God. He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Shall we feel it a hardship to deny ourselves? Shall we draw back from being partakers of His sufferings?… As we think of what He has done for us, our hearts should be filled with love.” –Counsels on Stewardship, p. 302.
For additional study
“From this disastrous battle Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem. As he approached the city, the prophet Jehu met him with the reproof: ‘shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.’ 2 Chronicles 19:2, 3.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 196.
“The Lord knows all about His faithful servants who for His sake are lying in prison or who are banished to lonely islands. He comforts them with His own presence. When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tri- bunals, Christ stands by his side. All the reproaches that fall upon him, fall upon Christ. Christ is condemned over again in the person of His disciple. When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love. When one suffers death for His sake, Christ says, ‘I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, be- hold, I am alive forevermore,… and have the keys of hell and of death.’ Revelation 1:18. The life that is sacrificed for Me is preserved unto eternal glory.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 669.