1 Kings 22:7-8 “And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”
May I ask: Is truth based upon what is palatable? Is the word any less true if it doesn’t suit our disposition? Have we as 21st century Christians become so enamored with presentation that we have lost the message?
There is very little time to set the foundation of 1 Kings 22, but suffice to say, two kings are in need of a word from God. Jehoshaphat knew that though they were kings, autonomous in almost every way, they were in need of the voice of the prophet. Kings (Americans) are self-sufficient. They have castles (houses) and motes (garage doors) and are mostly opinionated about every subject. Nevertheless, it seems that Jehoshaphat had the wherewithal to realize that only the voice of the prophet could give them the necessary direction.
It was Ahab, the King of Israel, who rebutted the introduction of Micaiah, the prophet of the Lord. Ahab rejected the voice “because he never prophesies anything good about me.” The rejection did not center on truth or what was right. The King of Israel rejected Micaiah because the prophet never said good things about him.
Consider the cousin of the Lord. The people came to the wilderness to see John the Baptist. However, he offended many of them. He preached truth, but mostly without a filter. John would never have lasted in our society of feel-good pulpiteers and seeker-friendly church communities. John preached truth. He cut through the vain tradition wrought among the people by the religious ruling class. He entered the courtyard of Herod and openly declared the king a sinner because Herod had killed his brother and married his wife. In the end, the truth cost John his head.
I ask you: Is the Word of Truth not enough? Or have we become so intoxicated on being entertained that the preached Word must be agreeable, pleasing, and inviting? Would Micaiah be a welcomed voice in your life? Would Nathan, pointing out David’s sin, have an open door to speak in your royal court?
I’m praying for all of us that the Word of God would be welcomed without constraint. I’m praying for the Word to invade us; reshape us; and that we would love it regardless of the pleasantries that may or may not attend to it. Hear the prayer of Jesus Christ: John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole