June 7, 2016

6/7/16 How many times have some gone to request a word from a prophet, and it isn't what they have wanted to hear? And yet, most that go and request these things, expect to hear the best of news, and something that would "tickle" their ears. To be true here, I believe that many that speak words to others, give them something that is almost always good news, and applauds the person for whatever they are doing, and promises a bright future for them. And yet, wouldn't we want to know the truth? Even in the Old Testament, kings and others, sought out prophets. They wanted to know their outcome in a battle, and if they would defeat their enemies. These kings looked for the best answers that they could find. They didn't want to hear bad news, even if it was the truth. Times have not changed. Most still want to hear that they will be prosperous, and that their life will be filled with success and not failure. This is even true of those words that speak of the downfall of a political person, or country.

We think that surely God would bless this person or nation, and make them so strong that they wouldn't fail. We see in the biblical text below, how the king of Israel found Micaiah, to hear what he might say to him about the Ramoth-gilead. And he was told by Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, that Micaiah never prophesied anything good for him:

10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” 12 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” As we are told in the text, Miciah did prophesy to the king, and it wasn't pleasant news by any means.

A messenger went to the prophet and told him to please let your word be like the other prophets who spoke favorably to the king. But Micaiah couldn't do this. Instead he said, But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I shall speak.” 15 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 So he said,

“I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”

18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19 Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 20 The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’ 23 Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.” 24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.” 26 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son; 27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”’” 28 Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”

We see that Ahab did not return, and the word that Micaiah had spoken to him, was true:

34 Now a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight; for I am severely wounded.” 35 The battle raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, “Every man to his city and every man to his country.” 37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the Lord which He spoke. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.

Stephen Hanson