The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Note: Due to our trip here in the Smoky Mountains and our setup here at our hotel we will post our next message Monday, November 1. The internet connection is slow and we are sharing a single portable computer. We are accustomed to using two computers as we prepare each morning so it essentially doubles the time it takes us to prepare.
Entrance to Tunnel on Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
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"Only 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 on a banner in the youth room of our church in New England for many years. More to the point, "What's popular in the world is usually not right for those seeking to please God and what's right for those who seek to please God is usually not popular in the world."
This is an issue that others have faced in previous generations. In fact many of the Biblical giants were not popular in their time.
When we think of prophets in the Bible we likely first consider those who have books named after them. But there were other great prophets such as Elijah, Elisha and Nathan.
One of the lesser known is a prophet by the name of Micaiah (we pronounce his name 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. People like that may not be popular in their time but their boldness is sorely needed for their generation! Their words and actions may not just be for their time but may affect many other generations as well.
Jehoshaphat, king of the southern Kingdom (Judah) and Ahab, king of the northern kingdom 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. His "Charge Ahead" attitude got ahead of Moses' command, "Listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him" (Deuteronomy 30:20b)!
King Ahab got together four hundred prophets that assured them of victory in battle. News of victory surely was a "sign" that God was in this but Jehoshaphat, on the face of such news, detected that these were false prophets. Exercising discernment he asked, "Is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?" 2 Chronicles 18:6). For Jehoshaphat the untampered truth was more important than false assurance.
Indeed there was a prophet of the Lord but Ahab did not want to consult him! It seems even Ahab had some discernment but tried to ignore it, hoping to get his way.
His response is like many who don't want to hear what God says. He had gathered around him those who said what he wanted to hear. The apostle Paul in the New Testament warned: "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear" (2 Timothy 4:3). I think we live in such a time as well!
Ahab probably spoke just above a whisper through clenched teeth when he finally revealed, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD". Surely his eyes were full of deadly venom as he went on to confess, "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. He told Micaiah, "Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success."
But Micaiah didn't succumb to the messenger's ungodly counsel. He reasoned that kings on earth do not have the same authority as the King of heaven. 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 need to take some lessons from Micaiah. He didn't go along with the crowd just to accommodate others' ideology, even though they represented great authority on earth. Our counsel and lifestyle must reflect the principles set forth in Holy Scripture, not the ever changing values and evolving definitions presented in our present society.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we pray for Holy Spirit power to enable us to give godly counsel based upon Your inerrant and unchanging Scripture. It is not from the media, current polls, or popular personalities that we form our opinions. We acknowledge that Satan is the god of this age, plotting to confuse, distort and mislead. Our confidence is firmly established in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures which are able to make us wise for salvation. They inspire, teach, convict, correct, comfort and model for us the way we're to live our earthly life. May we never sugar coat Your commands because we want to please others who differ with Your authority. We want to honor Your Word in all we say and do. As we look in the mirror of truth, help it to reflect this godly intent. If the reflection shows otherwise, help us to make the necessary changes in accordance with Your Word. In Your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Note: The next message we post will continue Micaiah's story.
Read today's Bible story in its entirety online 2 Chronicles 18
We are in Pigeon Forge Tennessee in the Great Smokies and will share several photos from our trip down along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
The Parkway is a beautiful drive but very slow.
Here we exit one tunnel only to enter another.
This old barn and silo was just before we got on the parkway in the mountains of northwest NC.
We walked on a path along this stream to see Linnville Falls.
Some trees had fallen along the path so Stephen, being the strong gentleman I married, lifted this one with only one arm, so I could go under!
Happy Jacks BBQ fed a Happy Stephen.
He's going to get his fill of BBQ while we're on this trip!
Brooksyne gets the last laugh on Stephen at Happy Jacks.
After we were seated last night the waitress brought out our drinks in quart Ball canning jars. After she left we started laughing as it took us back over 30 years ago when Stephen was meeting my relatives on the mountain in Arkansas for the first time. We'd asked for a glass of water so my aunt went to the kitchen and brought our drinks back in pint canning jars. A jar, a glass- what's the difference? Stephen got a chuckle out of that. Now all these years later we go where people pay for their drinks in canning jars!
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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