A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
"Hating The Voice Of Truth"
Note: Today's message is a bit longer than most but I had a hard time developing it without including all the background since it's not a well-known story.
Message summary: Like many today, Ahab hated the voice of truth but that did not keep the prophet Micaiah from boldly speaking out the truth. May God raise up men and women like Micaiah today, who faithfully speak the truth even to a world that doesn't want to hear it and in so many cases even despise it.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?” The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah” (1 Kings 22:6-8).
We've come to know a number of parents over the years who have named their children after lesser known Bible names. Our friends, Jason and Amber named their daughter Tirza. The Biblical Tirza was a daughter of Zelophehad, but otherwise we have no biographical information about her. There is another rather obscure reference in Song of Solomon, "You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling" (6:4). In Hebrew it means "delight, pleasantness, cypress tree".
Chris and Judy Clark, friends from northern Pennsylvania, named their son Obadiah, a lesser known Bible prophet and book. But the highlight (for me anyway) of Biblical information about him is in 1 Kings 18:3 where we read that "Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord". If that was all that was said of me it's enough!
“The Book Of Bible Names – Fast facts on all 2,026 people named in Scripture” lists the names of all the people in the Bible. If you have read through the Bible you have read their name but in many (probably most) cases have given them little thought. Many of course are obscure with no biographical info about them at all, such as those in genealogical lists. But the book has an interesting way of summarizing in a few sentences the notable aspects when there is any information about the person in Scripture.
When we think of prophets in the Bible we likely first consider those who have Bible books named after them such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. We might also recall other great prophets such as Elijah, Elisha and Nathan.
But one of the lesser known prophets is 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 Micaiah are rarely popular but their boldness is needed for each generation and certainly our own age! Their words and actions may not be just for their time but also affects the following generations and our present age as well.
The Book Of Bible Names sums up Micaiah's life with these words:
“Prophet whom King Ahab of Israel hated because he never prophesied anything good to him. When King Jehoshaphat asked Ahab for a prophet who would tell the truth, Ahab called for Micaiah.” I was especially intrigued by the phrase, “a prophet who would tell the truth.”
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 against their enemy, the Aramites. 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)!
So he asked Ahab, “Please inquire first for the word of the Lord” (22:5). King Ahab got together four hundred “prophets” who assured them of victory in battle, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king” (22:6). This unanimous assurance of victory surely was a “sign” that God was in this but Jehoshaphat, detected that these were false prophets. Exercising discernment he asked, “Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?” (22:7). For Jehoshaphat the unfettered truth was more important than false assurance.
Indeed there was a prophet of the Lord, Micaiah, but Ahab did not want to consult him! It seems even Ahab had some discernment but tried to ignore it, hoping to do it his way.
His response is like many who don’t want to hear what God says. Instead he had gathered around him those he knew who would say 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). Does that not sound like our age!
In regard to Jehoshaphat’s appeal for a true prophet of the Lord, Ahab probably spoke just above a whisper through clenched teeth when he finally revealed, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord”. I think deep down even Ahab realized this was a real prophet and might have even respected him as such. Surely his eyes were full of deadly venom as he went on to confess, “but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
So Micaiah was called and was pressured by the messenger to give a prophetic word agreeable to the other 400 false prophets. 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 surely 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 the "experts" of their time and certainly the majority. 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.
Like many today Ahab hated the voice of truth but that did not keep Micaiah from boldly speaking out. May God raise up men and women today who faithfully speak the truth.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
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.
* In carefully reading the account Micaiah initially stated a favorable word mimicking the 400 prophets, “Go up and succeed, and the Lord will give it into the hand of the king” (22:15). But apparently his words were dripping with a quite transparent sarcasm for immediately Ahab said, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Then Micaiah gave the true prophetic word from the Lord!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Voice Of Truth" Video Casting Crowns
From Linda in West Virginia, one of our regular readers regarding yesterday's theme:
Mornin’ Pastor Weber & Brooksyne,
As usual - the Encouragement was so positive and encouraging today. What do y’all think of the following response I usually give when when asked “How are you doing today?”: "Much better than I deserve to be, thank God."
We think that's a good witness!
As we prepared to post Linda's message Jim, a local friend, responded similarly:
Many years back I could not make up my mind in how to answer when someone asked "how are you doing". I didn't want to lie by saying "fine" when I wasn't so I decided on "Better than I deserve thank the Lord'" which is always true at all times, good or bad, I am still doing better than I deserve, thank the Lord. In His service. Jim Smith
Just finishing up my walk with the dogs yesterday evening and as I looked at the corn field across the street I was especially mindful of the blessing we enjoy living in our rural neighborhood. In fact I never take it for granted as I observe the beautiful farmland along with the natural beauty all around me here in Mount Joy, Lancaster County. - Brooksyne
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