I know we've been studying Elijah, but his story is so linked to Ahab's, I didn't want to skip over this passage.
Say what you will about Ahab, but he is not cowardly. He might be sulky, idolatrous, indulgent, selfish, disobedient, not to mention evil, but this passage shows he is at least willing to fight his own battles. He, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, decide against all good advice, that they are going to go take Ramoth-Gilead. God has just told them through a prophet, that it is not going to go well for them if they try; yet they want to try.
To tell you the truth, I do this. Any child of any parent has done this. Mom or Dad says no, but we need to exercise our own power of choice, and sometimes it doesn’t turn out so well.
In Ahab’s case, the stakes were higher, and he was guaranteed failure from the very beginning. He and Jehoshaphat make a plan. Ahab wants to be IN the battle. Jehoshaphat puts on his kingly robes, but Ahab enters the battle as a soldier. He thinks his chances for survival are better if they don't know he's king. Ramoth-Gilead had their own plan in the works. Kill Ahab. That’s it. They had one goal in mind, and that was it. When they saw Jehoshaphat dressed in his robes they thought they had found their guy. Jehoshaphat yelled, and told them otherwise, and shockingly, they let him be.
Some Aramaen soldier was out doing his job, fighting the Israeli soldiers and he “happened” to pull back on his bow and let an arrow fly. It “happened” to go through a joint in an Israeli soldier’s armor, and that Israeli soldier “happened” to be King Ahab. As soon as it happened, Ahab knew he was in trouble. Ahab was in a chariot and called to the driver that he needed to be taken out of the fight.
Scripture says Ahab was propped in the chariot, watching the long day’s battle rage on. He had an entire day to recall his life’s story, all the evil he had done, how he wouldn’t be saying goodbye to his wife, how he had fought for everything he wanted, and yet now found himself bleeding to death in front of the Aramaens. It says his blood ran into the bottom of the chariot.
And just like that, the battle was over. Everyone retreated and headed home, except for Ahab and the others in his army he had murdered through his disobedience. They took the chariot that held Ahab down to the pool by Samaria and washed it out. As they were cleaning it, dogs came and licked up his blood, just as had been prophesied would happen by Elijah after Ahab and Jezebel had Naboth stoned to death wrongfully, just a few stories earlier. God kept his promise of justice to Naboth.
Another prophecy was also completed at Ahab’s death. Remember how Ahab was supposed to completely destroy Ben-hadad and the Aramaens in chapter 20? When he showed mercy to Ben-hadad, it was prophesied that he would incur the death that he passed over Ben-hadad. It would be Ahab’s life for Ben-hadad’s, and here Ahab is killed by the Aramaen army. God kept his promises.
What does seeing prophecies fulfilled through Ahab’s story do for your faith?
Seeing how God acted toward Ahab and His people, what picture does it give you of God?
Ask God to give you a right picture of Himself. Ask Him to give you eyes to see Him for all His mercy, compassion, second-chances and justice.