Two kings, Jehoshaphat and Ahab, sitting on their thrones, “clothed in their robes," want to know whether God wants them to go into battle or not (actually Ahab wants confirmation of his desire to do so). 400 prophets are called in, and they tell Ahab exactly what he wants to hear.
Jehoshaphat is not satisfied, so they bring in Miciah, a loner, apparently, who never goes along with everyone else (Ahab hates him for it). Miciah is urged by Ahab’s messenger to just tell him want he wants to hear. When he does, Ahab insists that Miciah speak what is really on his mind.
So Miciah relates his vision: Israel loses their leader (shepherd) and they are told to return to their homes in peace. His vision continues: The Lord wanted to figure out a way to get Ahab to go into battle and be destroyed. But how? By putting a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. For this, Miciah was slapped around and thrown into prison. Sure enough, Miciah was correct. Ahab, despite his wicked attempt to divert the attention of the enemy to Jehoshaphat, was killed anyway.
What is confirmed in this story:
1. Real prophets are a rare breed. The world hates them. No support group. They have only(!) the satisfaction that they are honest.
2. If you want God's confirmation of your desire, get the opinion of those who owe you.
3. "Principle is imperative. You cannot mock it with human will." (S&H)