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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Photo of morning view from our home office 10/26/06
Morning view from our home office 10/26/06
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"What God Says"

But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says." (2 Chronicles 18:13).

"What's popular is not always right and what's right is not always popular."  This is a quote that hung as a banner in the youth room at our church in New England for many years.  Actually I think it might be even more accurate to state, "What's popular is often not right and what's right is often not popular."

I was recently giving a teaching on the prophets and shared how we often subdivide the portion of the Bible written by the prophets into the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. I pointed out that there were five books in the Major Prophets and twelve books in the Minor Prophets. I then asked the class, "So how many prophets are there?"  One class member instantly answered, "sixteen."   His quick math was off by one.  Five plus twelve equals seventeen!

I stunned the class when I noted that actually he was right, so for an online stump quiz can anyone tell me why? (I'll provide the answer tomorrow.)

The class was an overview of all the prophets and I pointed out that there were also prophets who did not have Biblical books named after them such as Elijah, Elisha and Nathan.  One of the lesser known is a prophet by the name of Micaiah (we pronounce this like Isaiah since its spelling is very similar). His story is told in parallel accounts in 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18. He was a prophet to the apostate Northern Kingdom and was known for telling it like it is.

Jehoshaphat and Ahab had entered into an ungodly alliance and were preparing for an attack. Jehoshaphat had agreed to proceed but then remembered that he should seek the will of the Lord. We all do that at times don't we!

King Ahab got together four hundred prophets that assured them of victory. Wow, that must have surely been a "sign" that God is in this but Jehoshaphat, on the face of it, detected that these were false prophets for he asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?"

Indeed there was but Ahab did not want to consult him! His response is like many who don't want to hear what God says, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah."

So Micaiah was called and pressured by the messenger to give a prophetic word agreeable to the other 400.  "Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king.  Be sure that you agree with them and promise success."

He didn't succumb to their ungodly counsel and his response, although obscure, is one of the greatest statements of faith and acts of obedience in the Bible. "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says."

Today we sure need to be like Micaiah who won't go along with the crowd just to accommodate others.  Our counsel and lifestyle must reflect the mandate set forth in Holy Scripture, not the changing pulse of society.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, I pray for Holy Spirit power to enable me to give godly counsel based upon Your inerrant Scripture.  It is not from the media or from current polls that I form my opinions since I know Satan is the god of this age, plotting to confuse, distort and mislead.  My confidence is firmly established in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures which are able to make me wise for salvation.  They inspire, teach, convict, correct, comfort and model for me the way I am to live my earthly life.  Your Holy Word brings understanding and maturity as You develop godly character through the course of my daily activities.  May I never sugar coat Your commands because I want to please others who differ with Your authority.  I want to always honor Your Word in all I say and do.  As I look in the mirror of truth, help it to reflect this godly intent.  If the reflection shows otherwise, help me to make the necessary changes in accordance with Your Word.  In Your name, Jesus, I pray.  Amen.  

To answer today's quiz in the third paragraph respond here.
Tomorrow's message will continue Micaiah's story.
Read today's story in its entirety online 2 Chronicles 18

As we consider a supplemental song for today's message we recalled "Word of God Speak" (mp3 audio)  This is a local version by Ed Arnold from Moore's Chapel in Elkton, Maryland, USA whose website proclaims, "Serving Christ for over 134 years!"

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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