“But Jehoshaphat dragged his heels: ‘Is there still another prophet of GOD around here we can consult?’ The king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, ‘As a matter of fact, there is still one such man. But I hate him. He never preaches anything good to me, only doom, doom, doom.’”1 Kings 22:7-8 (MSG)
In his book “Corporate Anointing,” Author and Minister Kelley Varner wrote, “For the most part, American Christendom is entertainment-based, need-oriented, and man-centered.” It would seem that little has changed in the over two and a half millennia since today’s scripture. King Ahab was looking for someone to bless his plans and convince Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, that God supported the idea to attack the King of Syria and take Ramoth-gilead. With very little effort, he gathered about 400 Prophets who were willing to say exactly what he wanted to hear. When he asked them if he should attack, the Prophets replied with one voice, “Go up; for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” (v.6)
Even with the overwhelming encouragement and support of these supposed prophets, Jehoshaphat felt that something was wrong. He requested the counsel of a true man of God. After some persuasion on the part of Jehoshaphat, Ahab sent for Micaiah, the preacher he hated. Even then, the king’s messenger told Micaiah to agree with the other prophets. What a setup!
When Micaiah was asked if the armies should go to battle, he parodied the false-prophets and sarcastically told the king that he should go and that God would give him victory. Remarkably, Ahab knew that Micaiah was lying. The King barked, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the LORD?” (v.16 NLT) At this, Micaiah let the king have it, “In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace.’” (v.17 NLT) In an I-told-you-so, moment, Ahab said, “Didn’t I tell you?… He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.” (v.18 NLT) Micaiah went on to tell Ahab of a Heavenly conspiracy to kill Ahab by recruiting lying prophets to send him into battle.
Confoundingly, despite Micaiah’s dire warning, and Ahab’s apparent recognition that it was from God, the king persisted in his desired plans and even tried to thwart the prophetic word of God by disguising himself, while Jehoshaphat drew fire – dressed in his royal regalia. During the battle, a randomly shot arrow found its way to a joint in Ahab’s armor and after what appears to be hours of pain and bleeding, Ahab died. One man speaking the true word of God was right when four hundred others were wrong. Truth is NOT statistical and it is seldom discovered in a Gallup poll.
The Apostle Paul was concerned about this same phenomena occurring in the church. In writing to his protégé’ Timothy, he warned, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT) If you find yourself only willing to listen to comfortable religious messages that always make you feel good, consider these warnings. Run – do not walk – find the real Prophets, Pastor’s and Teachers of God who will tell you the truth in love. Once you have heard the truth, don’t stop there. Act on it and let it transform your life. (James 1:22)
Father, we live in a time when it seems that your true Word is more scarce than ever. Lead us to the well of Your living water and teach us to drink. Please bless our readers today with Your presence. In Jesus Name, amen!