The wicked son of the wicked King Ahab, is now king and has injured himself in a fall. Instead of seeking the God of Israel through a real prophet of God, he sends messengers to inquire about his fate form fake prophets of a non-existent God. That is when Yahweh sends the great prophet Elijah to intercept those emissaries with a message of His own. Troops are sent to arrest Elijah but he called for fire from heaven.
Satan’s attempt to silence the voice of the truth from Christians now spreads from the murder of Stephen to attacks on Christians living in Jerusalem. This persecution will be used by God to spread the gospel beyond the borders of Jerusalem and to other peoples also. Philip, who we met in chapter six, becomes an evangelist, spreading the gospel to Samaritans, a people in religious and cultural conflict with the Jewish people and Judaism.
There are three main characters in this chapter. The first is King Ahab, a man under the influence of Satan and self. Then there is King Jehoshaphat, a man who delights in Yahweh but is susceptible to the influence of ungodly people. Finally there is Micaiah, a stalwart prophet subject to God. It is this prophet that tells King Ahab that he will die in battle, it is this prophet who is hated be King Ahab for always being under God’s rule.
To Satan, the ministry of Stephen was toxic. He demonstrated that not only was Jesus the Messiah according to the Hebrew Scripture, but also that they as a people routinely killed those whom God sent to them. Their zeal for God collapsed under the weight of a fanaticism that refused to be God led. Satan got them to kill Stephen but it was a blunder because it served to spread the gospel and stir a man named Saul to the point where God would reach him, converting him from persecutor into the great apostle Paul.
This is the story of a man named Naboth who owned a vineyard next to the winter palace of the wicked king Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel. These two diabolical people were Naboth’s neighbors. Ahab made an offer to buy the vineyard but Naboth refused, citing that it was inherited land. Ahab went home sulking and depressed for being told “no.” Then his wife devised a plan to frame Naboth for a capital crime. It worked and Naboth was stoned to death, Ahab assumed the vineyard but God sent Elijah to pronounce their doom.