Some readers may already be aware of this, but I’m in the middle of a ‘Read Your Bible in a Year Plan.’ It’s not something I do annually. Instead, I do it every few years to get reacquainted with verses, chapters, and books that all contribute to The Greatest (True) Story Ever Told.
One night, I was reading 1 Kings 22 when words from the prophet Micaiah stood out to me. If you’re not familiar, let me pause here and give a bit of backstory.
Following a battle with Ben-hadad, king of Syria, Israel’s King Ahab reached out to King Jehoshaphat of Judah to see if they should fight Ben-hadad in a place called Ramoth-Gilead. Jehoshaphat wants to first hear what God says. This alone is worthy of a blog but read further.
Ahab gathers the prophets together (1 Kings 22: 6) and asks if they should go against Ramoth-Gilead to battle. The prophets tell the kings to go, adding that the Lord will deliver it into their hands. Still, Jehoshaphat wants to know if they left anyone out. It’s a good thing because Ahab’s prophets were all yes men. We know that from the following verse:
“And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22:8).
Even after hearing Ahab’s (whiny) comments, Jehoshaphat wants to know more. So, Micaiah is summoned and told by one of the officers who gave him these instructions:
“Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good” (1 Kings 22:13).
This is the part that I want to stress today. Micaiah says to the officer, “As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.” Talk about bold. Here was a guy saying, essentially, ‘I’m going to tell you what the Lord says, not what you want to hear.’ We can learn a lot from this, especially today.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but God’s Word is not exactly popular. Oh, scriptures telling us not to judge and to love our enemies are fine for many folks. It’s when that you get to ‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near’ and ‘Marvel not that I said you must be born-again’ that people say you are nuts. And that’s putting it politely.
I should make it a point here to say that, yes, Micaiah does appear to tell Ahab and Jehoshaphat in verse 15 to go into battle. However, when you read further you will see that Micaiah was mocking the other prophets. We know this because King Ahab demands him to be honest. That’s when Micaiah goes on to condemn the effort and says it will end in disaster. Micaiah is proven correct. At least he tried to tell them, right?
One final thought. Micaiah, to my knowledge, is no longer mentioned after this exchange detailed in 1 Kings 22. He obviously was well-known because he was in included in the royal court. Still, he’s remembered for one thing. He stood up for God’s Word and told people what needed to be said.
After you leave this earth, how are you going to be remembered?