1 Kings 20:35-43

Talks for Growing Christians

The Prophecy of Ahab’s Death

1 Kings 20:35-43

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Lesson Number 45

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The will of the Lord may be unpleasant at times.
  2. Lying for a good purpose is not taught in the Bible.

Practical Application

  1. Are you vulnerable to satanic attack?


  1. One prophet said to another prophet, “By the word of the Lord, ‘Strike me.’” When the second prophet refused, he was killed by a lion. The same request was made of a third prophet, and he struck him and injured him. What’s going on here?
  2. Who were the “sons of the prophets”?
  3. Did Ahab repent because of the prophecy on himself and on Israel?
  4. Is the will of the Lord ever unpleasant?
  5. It could be OK to lie if it is for a good purpose. Right?


  1. This was a role play or an object lesson given by the student prophets to show Ahab that he was guilty of letting King Ben-Hadad go free. When the prophet took off his bandage, Ahab recognized him as a prophet. Ahab had judged himself. See 1 Kings 22 for the fulfillment of this prophecy.
  2. They were the students in the “Bible colleges” of those days. This school of prophets probably went back to Samuel’s time, and was carried on by Elijah and Elisha.
  3. No, instead he went home sullen and displeased. (Do Christians ever behave like this?)
  4. Yes. The will of the Lord was for the second prophet to strike the first prophet. This was unquestionably the will of the Lord. Why did he refuse? Probably he didn’t want to hurt him. The will of the Lord may not always be pleasant. To tell someone that he is going to hell is not pleasant, but if he is an unbeliever, it could be a stepping stone for him to hear and accept the gospel of salvation.
  5. Wrong. Situational ethics says it’s OK, particularly if you don’t want to hurt someone by telling them a little white lie. But lying, for any reason is wrong. In the case of the prophets enacting an object lesson, the Bible is not condoning lying. If we were to have a dramatic presentation in our church, and we had one of the players lie or steal, we would not assume that the church was condoning lying or stealing, but rather teaching a lesson.


  1. Do you avoid the will of the Lord when it is unpleasant or difficult?
  2. Do you try to justify lying if it is “for a good purpose”? Discuss why this is not appropriate.


  1. Are you vigilant in obeying the Lord in the little things as well as in the big things? Or are you vulnerable to a satanic attack because of your disobedience?

Key Verses

  • ” have not obeyed the voice of the Lord...” 1 Kings 20:36
  • “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life.’” I Kings 20:42

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