For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. But in the third year, when Jehoshaphat the ruler of Judah came to visit the ruler of Israel, Ahab said to his followers, "Do you not know that Ramoth in gilead belongs to us; yet we sit still instead of taking it from the king of Aram?" Then he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to attack Ramoth in Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied, "I am with you, my people are as your people, my horses as your horses."
And Jehoshaphat said to the ruler of Israel, "Ask now what the LORD has to say." So Ahab gathered the prophets together (in all about four hundred men), and asked them, "Shall I go to fight against Ramoth in Gilead or shall I not?" They said, "Go up; for the LORD will give it into your hands." But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there any other prophet of the LORD, that we may ask him?" The ruler of Israel answered, "There is another by whom we may ask of the LORD, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, but I hate him; for he prophesies for me nothing good, but only evil." Jehoshaphat said, "Do not say so."
Then the ruler of Israel called a servant and said, "Bring quickly Micaiah, the son of Imlah." The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, "See, the prophets have all of them promised the ruler of Israel success. Agree with them, and prophesy success." But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I will speak what he says to me."
When he came to Ahab, he said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth in Gilead to fight, or shall we not?" He answered him, "Go up and conquer! the LORD will give it into your hands!" But Ahab said to him, "How many times shall I warn you to speak nothing to me in the name of the LORD but the truth?" He said, "I saw all the Israelites scattered upon the mountains as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, 'These have no master; let each of them go home in peace!'"
The ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Did I not tell you that he would prophesy for me nothing good, but only evil?" Micaiah said, "Hear then the message from the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne and all the host of heaven standing about him. And the LORD said, 'Who will deceive Ahab, so that he will go up and fall at Ramoth in Gilead?' One suggested one thing and another, another, until a spirit came out and stood before the LORD and said, 'I will deceive him.' the LORD said to him, 'By what means?' He said, 'I will go out and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then the LORD said, 'You shall succeed in deceiving him. Go out and do so.' So the LORD has now put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, for he has decided to bring evil upon you."
Then Zedekiah came near and struck Micaiah a blow on the cheek and said, "How was it that the spirit of the LORD went from me to speak to you?" Micaiah replied, "Indeed, you shall see on the day when you shall go from one hiding-place to another." Then the ruler of Israel said, "Take Micaiah back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the ruler's son, and say, 'This is the ruler's command: Put this fellow in prison and feed him with a scanty fare of bread and water until I return successful.'" Micaiah said, "If you indeed return successful, the LORD has not spoken by me."
Then Ahab, the ruler of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, the ruler of Judah, went up to Ramoth in Gilead. And the ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will dress myself so that no one will know me, and go into the battle, but you can put on your robes."
But a certain man shot an arrow, and by chance it struck the ruler of Israel between the breastplate and the lower part of his armor. So Ahab said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn about and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded." But the battle grew more intense, so that Ahab stayed until evening propped up in his chariot in the sight of the Arameans, and the blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot. And that evening he died.
About sunset the cry went out through the army, "Each to his town and each to his land, for the ruler is dead!" So they went to Samaria and buried Ahab there. And when they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood just as the LORD had said.
Let us love one another, for love comes from God and every one who loves is a child of God and knows God. He who loves not man does not know God, for God is love. God showed his love for us, for he sent his only Son into the world that through him we might have life. Love ye therefore the stranger.
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He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, saith the Lord. These are the words of Christ; and they direct us to imitate his life and character. The Imitation of Christ is guide to following the example of Jesus Christ. Let it be our most earnest study to dwell upon the life and example of Jesus.
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