Readings for the Day
1 Kings 22, 2 Chroniclea 18,19, Colossians 4
Verses for the Day
1 Kings 22:13-18
The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” 15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?” “Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” 16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’” 18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were related by marriage and in alliance against the King of Aram (Syria). As they met to decide whether they should go to war, the King of Judah remarked, "Should we not inquire of the Lord first?" So Ahab calls together 400 of his prophets, who generally told the king what he wanted to hear. Jehoshaphat was very suspicious and asked, "Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord we can inquire of?" Ahab says, "there is only one prophet of the Lord, and I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, only bad."
So his servant goes to get this prophet, named Micaiah, and bring him back to Ahab. The messenger in effect says when he picks up Micaiah, "all the other prophets are predicting success don't rock the boat when the king asks you for advice!" Micaiah, the Lord's prophet says, "I can only tell him what the Lord says!" When Ahab asks him about going to war, at first he says "attack and you will be victorious". Ahab senses he is telling him what he wants him to hear and implores him to tell him the truth in the Lord. Micaiah tells him that he and all Israel will be scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Ahab's fears were confirmed but he still doesn't listen to Micaiah to his own demise. Notice this is what Jesus says when he see Israel in his day.
What can we learn from this story? Micaiah was a true prophet, because he spoke the Word of the Lord even when it was unpopular. The false prophets spoke in their own name to ensure their own security and good standing with the king. They served man not God. Micaiah was so consumed with being obedient to God that he didn't bow to pressure and intimidation by the king or his messenger. And Micaiah suffered the consequences as he was thrown in prison and given only food and water.
How would you have reacted if you were Micaiah? How often do you hold back from speaking the truth for fear of men? I think prophets, like Micaiah, are needed more than ever in our world today. They might not be popular, but if King Ahab would have listened to him, he would not have walked into his own destruction.