My good friend, Dr. David R. Reagan, recently wrote an outstanding article titled, “How Did God Speak Through the Prophets.” He mentioned that the little known prophet, Micaiah, is one of his favorite prophets and he told the story about Micaiah, Ahab and Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:1-38).
What Dr. Reagan said is better than anything I can come up with, but his article left me with a thought that I want to try to expand on.
Syria had captured the large city of Ramoth-gilead from the Northern Kingdom called Israel and the wicked Israeli king Ahab wanted it back. He saw the opportunity to get it back when he the godly king Jehoshaphat visited him from the Southern Kingdom called Judah.
While they were talking Ahab asked Jehoshaphat if he would join him in a war against Syria to retake it. In essence, Jehoshaphat said he would, but he wanted Ahab to seek the will of the Lord first.
Ahab called about 400 prophets in (false prophets or prophets who thought their job was to tell the king what he wanted to hear) and they said, “Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.”
This sounded a little suspicious to king Jehoshaphat so he asked king Ahab, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him?” Jehoshaphat wanted God’s opinion not man’s opinion. He wanted the truth whether he liked it or not.
King Ahab replied, “There is one man, Micaiah ...but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” King Jehoshaphat told king Ahab he shouldn’t say that and to satisfy the good king Jehoshaphat, Ahab sent for the prophet Micaiah.
While they were waiting for Micaiah to arrive, Ahab’s approximately 400 prophets assured him that the Lord would deliver Ramoth-gilead into his hands.
When Ahab’s servant reached Micaiah he told Micaiah what the other prophets said and urged him to “speak that which is good.” That is to say if you want to get along with the king, prophesy good things instead of bad things.
Micaiah’s response was, “As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.” His prophecy would be what the Lord says whether it is positive or negative. Skipping down to the end of the story for the sake of getting to the point, Micaiah said to Ahab:“I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd.” He also told Ahab, “the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”
Four things: 1) Israel would be defeated, 2) Ahab would die, 3) his prophets were lying to him, and 4) God’s judgment was coming instead of God’s blessing.
Micaiah was slapped in the face by one of Ahab’s prophets and he was cast into prison to receive nothing but bread and water until Ahab’s return from the battlefield. Nevertheless, Ahab listened to his lying prophets, Israel was defeated, he was killed and his body was buried in Samaria.
Many people are like Ahab because they don’t want to hear negative prophecy even if it comes from the Lord and even if it is true. And many preachers are like the prophet that slapped Micaiah in the face because they are not preaching the whole counsel of God and they resent those
Paul told Timothy, “The time will come when they (most church members) will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3).
The time will come when many church members will not listen to everything that is in the Word of God. They will listen to a positive message, but they will not listen to a negative message. They will bring in preachers that say things that make them feel good, but they will not tolerate preachers that say things they don’t want to hear. They will love darkness more than the truth.
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Daymond & Rachel Duck