Let me state you what we have in shop for you during the following few proceedingss. Reigning In Life is the over-all rubric for Dr Stringers series.
We have discovered that there is more than merely a clump of ancient Kings here. These were existent people with a existent message in their lives for us today. At least, that ‘s how the Bible tells us to see them. We are meant to ‘Reign In Life ‘ instead than merely weave along. By look intoing out the narratives of these Old Testament leaders, we learn a batch about ourselves and how to break relate to God and function His intents.
We ‘ve checked-out a existent mix of characters so far in the old 6 surveies. Turning now to 1 Kings 22 and the parallel transition in 2 Histories 18, we get a message through a twosome of male monarchs every bit good as an interesting adult male of God.
Opportunities are many of you have ne’er heard of Micaiah.A We know nil of his household, his ministry, or his death.A Yet the Scriptures tell us adequate to cognize he ‘s the sort of individual we would swear with our lives, and he stands on a par with some of God ‘s choicest retainers, peculiarly when it comes to courage and faithfulness.
Let ‘s bend in our Christian bibles to 1 Kings 22.A My attack will be simple-to examine the historical context, measure the ministry of Micaiah, and so seek rules for our ain lives.
“ For three old ages at that place was no war between Aram and Israel.A But in the 3rd twelvemonth Jehoshaphat male monarch of Judah went down to see the male monarch of Israel ( Ahab ) .A The male monarch of Israel had said to his functionaries, “ Do n’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are making nil to recapture it from the male monarch of Aram? ”
So he asked Jehoshaphat, “ Will you go with me to contend against Ramoth Gilead? ”
Jehoshaphat replied to the male monarch of Israel, “ I am as you are, my people as your people, my Equus caballuss as your Equus caballuss. “ A But Jehoshaphat besides said to the male monarch of Israel, “ First seek the advocate of the LORD. ”
King Ahab brought together about 400 Prophetss who said, “ Travel to war. ”
Jehoshaphat asked if there was anyone else to consult.
Micaiah is wheeled in much against Ahab ‘s want. . . he reckoned he ne’er got a good word out of him ( there were good grounds for that of class cognizing what King Ahab was like ) .
First he tells the male monarch what he wants to hear. . . “ onslaught and win ” . . . they sort of detect a cynicism in him and state, “ give us the truth. ”
Then we read: “ The LORD has put a lying spirit in the oral cavities of all these Prophetss of yours. The LORD has decreed catastrophe for you. ”
The male monarch says: “ Put this chap in prison and give him nil but staff of life and H2O until I return safely. ‘ ”
Micaiah declared, “ If you of all time return safely, the LORD has non spoken through me. “ A Then he added, “ Mark my words, all you people! ”
The narrative of Micaiah comes near the terminal of Ahab ‘s reign, between the slaying of Naboth the Jezreelite and Ahab ‘s decease three old ages later.A Our chapter opens with the notice that three old ages has passed with no war between Syria and Israel.A Israel had won the two old battles conveniently, due to God ‘s crowned head intervention.A However, harmonizing to chapter 20, Ahab disobeyed God after capturing the Syrian male monarch, Ben Hadad.A Alternatively of put to deathing him, as God had commanded, Ahab offered to allow him travel in exchange for the return of some metropoliss the Syrians has captured, and certain trade grants, like the right to put up Judaic bazars in the Syrian capital of Damascus.
But every bit shortly as Ben Hadad ‘s life was spared he reneged on his understanding and refused to return the occupied district, including the metropolis of Ramothaˆ‘Gilead.A That fact seems to be the chief motivation for the acme conference we merely read about between Ahab and Jehoshaphat, a conference that resulted in: An unwise political confederation.
Merely for the interest of reminder, we might advert that these two lands, Israel and Judah, were formed as the consequence of a civil war shortly after Solomon ‘s decease about a century earlier.A Ten of Israel ‘s 12 folks formed the Northern Kingdom of Israel, of which Ahab is now the 8th king.A Two of the tribes-Judah and Benjamin, formed the Southern Kingdom of Judah, of which Jehoshaphat is the 4th king.A
I guess godly male monarchs live longer.
Jehoshaphat is one of the few reverent male monarchs of Judah ( there were none in Israel ) , but he had one noteworthy weakness-he was a lover of peace to the point he was willing to compromise to accomplish it.A The most noteworthy illustration of this was his agreement to hold Athaliah, the girl of Ahab and Jezebel, get married his boy Jehoram in order to cement a political confederation for the future.A Athaliah turned out to be about every bit wicked as her female parent and about brought about the extinction of the royal household of Judah.A Now we find Jehoshaphat holding to another, every bit unwise, political confederation as he becomes an ally of Ahab against Syria.A He had no concern making this because Ahab ‘s political and moral values were so really different from his own.A
But besides being an unwise political confederation, this was besides an
unholy spiritual alliance.A
These two male monarchs reigned at the same time for 20 old ages, but they were cut out of really different cloth.A Ahab was a wicked male monarch, really encouraging devotion among his people, whileA Jehoshaphat was basically a good male monarch, whose few recorded wickednesss include the fact that he hobnobbed with Ahab.A
But why should n’t they have this acme conference, and why should n’t they be at peace with one another? A Are n’t they both Jews? A That ‘s Jehoshaphat ‘s contention in verse 4: A “ I am as you are, my people as your people, my Equus caballuss as your Equus caballuss. “ A Yes, racially they were both Israelites, but surely non spiritually.A As the Apostle Paul wrote centuries subsequently, “ He is a Jew who is one inside. “ A And Ahab was surely non a Hebrew by that criterion.A
2 Corinthians 6:14aˆ‘16 speaks really pointedly to us about the danger of an unequal yoke: “ Make non be yoked together with unbelievers.A For what do righteousness and evil have in common? A Or what family can illume hold with darkness? A . . . What does a truster have in common with an disbeliever? A What understanding is at that place between the temple of God and graven images? . . . Therefore, come out from them and be separate. ”
Now this transition can non be interpreted as prohibiting all cooperation and interaction between trusters and disbelievers, for the Scriptures clearly indicate we are to be in the universe but non of the world.A And sometimes it is hard to find whether a certain sort of confederation with disbelievers is wise or foolish, holy or unhallowed. We need God ‘s wisdom every bit good as His Word in such situations.A
But God is surely non pleased with this unhallowed confederation and I believe Jehoshaphat knows he is in unsafe district, and that is why he suggests in poetry 5, about as an reconsideration, “ First seek the advocate of the LORD. ”
I ‘m certain Ahab was n’t pleased with this suggestion.A But I fault Jehoshaphat more, because he should hold known better than to wait until this point to inquire God.A But do you of all time happen yourself making the same thing? A You lay your programs, you make cardinal determinations, and so it all of a sudden occurs that you need to inquire God to back your plans.A So you ask, “ Lord, is this what you want me to make? A It must be, because I ‘ve already committed myself.A Now will you bless the consequences? ”
Ahab responds to Jehoshaphat ‘s suggestion by rounding up 400 Prophetss to determine God ‘s will in the matter.A Are these Prophetss of Baal, supported and sponsored by his married woman Jezebel-replacements for the 400 Prophetss of Baal whom Elijah killed after the conflict of Mt. Carmel? A I barely think Jehoshaphat would hold tolerated the presence of Prophetss of Baal.A Besides, the one prophesier of these 400 who is named, Zedekiah, has a name which means, “ the righteousness of Yahweh, ” connoting that he at least professes to be a true prophesier of the Lord.
I think it more likely that these 400 Prophetss are the establishment Jewish spiritual leaders, tolerated by Ahab chiefly because they seldom give him any trouble.A
They are like the religious leaders of whom Paul spoke when he said, “ They have a signifier of godliness but deny the power thereof. “ A
Yes they are.
Reacting to Ahab ‘s petition for verification from the Lord as to whether to travel up to conflict, these Prophetss respond with enthusiasm, “ Travel for it, Ahab, for the Lord will give you triumph. “ A That ‘s precisely what Ahab wants to hear and he ‘s delighted, for now Jehoshaphat should hold no vacillation about fall ining him in taking on Syria.A But so Jehoshaphat expresses some lingering uncertainties: A “ Is at that place non yet a prophesier of the LORD here whom we may ask of? ”
What do you say rises intuition in Jehoshaphat ‘s head that Ahab ‘s Prophetss may non be talking for God? A Possibly it is the fact that person with Ahab ‘s repute could acquire such speedy and consentaneous approval.A Or possibly it is one of the words these Prophetss use.A In poetry 6 they use the term “ Lord ” but it is a different word in Hebrew than Jehoshaphat used in verse 7.A He used “ Yahweh, ” the personal name for Israel ‘s God, while they use “ Adonai, ” the more formal name. It ‘s like the difference between stating “ my Father ” and “ God. “ A Possibly they give themselves off by their hesitance to utilize God ‘s personal name.
Now with that as historical background, we are ready to run into Micaiah, God ‘s prophesier, who has an unbelievable repute for honestness and unity.
Ahab condemns himself with his attitude toward Micaiah.A Look once more at verse 8:
“ The male monarch of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, ‘There is still one adult male through whom we can ask of the Lord, but I hate him because he ne’er prophesies anything good about me, but ever bad.A He is Micaiah boy of Imlah. ‘ ” A
Yes, there is one prophesier who can state you what Yahweh says.A What a sad commentary on the religious status of his land that there is merely one who can be counted on to talk for God.A But at least there is one.
His repute for truthfulness is Micaiah ‘s greatest asset.A The fact that Ahab hates him is besides a reasonably good indicant of his reverent character.A But non merely does Ahab reprobate himself with this attitude toward Micaiah.A I believe Jehoshaphat besides condemns himself with his wimpish response to Ahab.
Jehoshaphat condemns himself with his mild reproof of Ahab.A He responds by stating in consequence, “ Naughty, naughty, Ahab.A You should n’t state such things about Micaiah.A You should n’t detest anybody. “ A I ‘m being a spot sarcastic because one could hold hoped for a more blunt response from Jehoshaphat.A Ahab ‘s attitude toward this true prophesier should hold been a dead giveaway to Jehoshaphat and should hold sent him hightailing it back to Jerusalem.A But he does n’t, so Ahab calls for Micaiah.
We find the two male monarchs sitting on their portable thrones near the gate of Samaria, dressed up in their royal regalia.A All the establishment Prophetss are vaticinating and their leader, Zedekiah, is utilizing a ocular assistance to acquire his point across.A He has made a twosome of Fe horns and uses them to exemplify how Israel will gore the Syrians and get the better of them. Meanwhile the courier sent to cite Micaiah ( seemingly from prison ) , is make fulling the prophesier in on what ‘s go oning and promoting him non to rain on Ahab ‘s parade.A “ Micaiah, do n’t do waves.A Everyone is agreed we should travel into conflict, and you will be odd-man-out unless you join them. “ A But Micaiah responds, “ Equally certainly as the Lord lives, I can state him merely what the Lord tells me. “ A Wow! A That ‘s the sort of bravery and unity we love to see.A But so in verse 15 we begin to inquire whether this adult male ‘s repute for honestness is wholly deserved.A In fact, . . .
Micaiah, God ‘s honest prophesier, “ prevarications ” to both of them.A Ahab asks him, “ Micaiah, shall we travel to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I forbear? “ , A and he agrees instantly with the judgement of the other 400 Prophetss: “ Attack and be winning, for the LORD will give it into the male monarch ‘s manus. “ A
But instantly Ahab smells a rat.A Never before has Micaiah had anything positive to state to Ahab and, besides, I suspect Micaiah ‘s tone of voice betrays a distinguishable deficiency of sincerity.A It ‘s as though Micaiah responded, “ Certain Ahab, God will give you anything you want because you ‘re such a devoted follower of His. ”
Knowing in his bosom that the prophesier is drawing his leg, Ahab screams at Micaiah, “ How many times must I make you swear to state me nil but the truth in the name of the Lord? “ ! A He ‘s ticked.A He does n’t truly desire to cognize the truth ( or he would n’t hold chased the true Prophetss out of Israel ) , but he does n’t wish being toyed with either.A In the following scene we discover that. . .
Micaiah delivers on his repute for honestness and unity.
He responds to Ahab, “ OK, you want the truth, I ‘ll give you the difficult, unadulterated truth. “ A And he reveals a vision the Lord has given him, a vision that begins,
“ I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing about him on his right and on his left. “ A
The two rich and powerful male monarchs before him are sitting on their thrones in all the royal luster they can rally, but friends, when you have seen God on His throne, you are non impressed or threatened by an Ahab or a Jehoshaphat sitting on theirs.
The vision shows an ground forces in disarray.A The commanderaˆ‘inaˆ‘chief is dead, and the leaderless people are in retreat to their homes.A That, says, Micaiah, will be the terminal consequence if Ahab and Jehoshaphat go into conflict against Syria.A
Ahab turns to Jehoshaphat: “ I knew it.A I told you so, did n’t I? A He ne’er prophesies anything good about me, but merely bad. “ A But Micaiah continues, uncovering the cardinal ground why the mark is 400 to 1.A He explains to us one time for all why truth can non be established by bulk vote.A It all has to make with religious warfare unseeable to human eyes.
Micaiah reveals the truth aboutA religious warfare.A He tells us about a meeting traveling on up in Heaven.A God is looking for a spirit courier to lure Ahab to establish the conflict in which he will be killed.A
Look once more at verse 21:
Finally, a spirit came frontward, stood before the Lord and said, “ I will lure him. “ A “ By what means? ” the Lord asked. “ I will travel out and be a lying spirit in the oral cavities of all his Prophetss, ” he said.A “ You will win in luring him, ” said the Lord.A “ Go and make it. ”
I see several of import truths here that we must hold on about religious warfare:
First: A God is profoundly involved in human affairs.A In fact, He is in control of His full universe.A Not even political immorality and spiritual renunciations are outside His cognition and His sovereignty.A While Ahab is plotting military scheme, God is be aftering the terminal of Ahab.A
Second: God can use immorality every bit good as good instruments to carry through His intents, while ne’er Himself perpetrating immorality or O.K.ing the evil.A He can utilize an evil angel every bit good as a good 1 ; he can utilize a wicked state every bit good as a righteous one.A
This bothers some of us, but we ‘re non in bad company-it besides bothered the prophesier Habakkuk.A He did n’t appreciate it one spot when God raised up the Chaldeans to penalize the Jews because, though the Jews surely deserved to be punished, the Chaldeans were even worse.A He chided God for being “ silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? “ A And how did God reply? A “ Do n’t worry approximately it.A If I decide to utilize the wicked, that ‘s My business.A But it still does n’t pardon the Chaldeans.A Someday they will acquire theirs. “ A God can utilize any instrument He chooses to carry through His purposes.A In this instance He uses an evil spirit to lead on the Prophetss, who in bend deceive Ahab.
Third: A Satanic sightlessness covers the eyes of those who do non believe, ensuing in unbelievable darkness.A
While there are infinite illustrations of this in the Bible, I think it most worthwhile to turn straight to 2 Corinthians 4:4: A “ The God of this age has blinded the heads of disbelievers, so that they can non see the visible radiation of the Gospel of the glorification of Christ, who is the image of God. “ A
And in 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12 the influence of Anti-Christ in the terminal times is described this manner: A “ God sends them a powerful psychotic belief so that they will believe the prevarication and so that all will be condemned who have non believed the truth but have delighted in evil. ”
In 1 Kings 22 we see a clear illustration of how this Satanic sightlessness operates.A
But I want to take a hazard and use this to the ecclesiastical state of affairs in our day.A In my state there are thousand of church buildings.A I would gauge that in a big bulk of those churches the Gospel of Jesus Christ is non preached so that people can be saved and nurtured in their faith.A Why? A Are those clergy intentionally lead oning their people in order to take them astray? A No, of class not.A They are themselves victims of a delusory program by which SATAN is taking both clergy and people astray.
Many spiritual leaders ( and this was merely as true in Jesus ‘ twenty-four hours as it is today ) , are sincere but unfeignedly incorrect ; they are unsighted ushers of the blind.A
And that is why Micaiah is standing alone.A
He is the lone one whom the immorality spirit has non been able to seduce.A Happily in my state there are a figure of churches in a assortment of denominations which do prophesy the true Gospel, though I unhappily suspect they are still a distinguishable minority.
So far we have seen that Micaiah has a repute for honestness and unity, and that he has delivered on his reputation.A Now we see eventually that he must pay the effects for his honestness and unity.
Sometimes God rewards His faithful retainers instantly for Acts of the Apostless of courage.A But at other times the wagess are deferred.A Micaiah ‘s wagess are deferred.A In the interim he begins to pay the effects for being truthful.A
The first of these is digesting the choler of the other Prophetss.
Verse 24 says that Zedekiah, the leader of the 400 deceived Prophetss, attacks Micaiah and slaps him in the face.A
This action provides some of import penetration into human nature.A When person tells us something we do n’t desire to hear and we know down deep we ‘re incorrect, how do we respond? A Often in choler, do n’t we? A In fact, choler and resentment are often a mark of insecurity and guilt.A But when we know we ‘re in the right and are falsely accused, it is much easier to react with composure and even commiseration towards our accuser, confident that the truth will justify itself, confident that God will justify us.A
Think about that the following clip you ‘re tempted to slog person, either physically or verbally, because they told you something you did n’t desire to hear.
But Zedekiah does n’t merely strike Micaiah-He besides asks him a inquiry:
“ How did the Spirit of the Lord base on balls from me to talk to you? “ A In other words, “ Prove that you ‘re stating the truth and we ‘re all deceived. “ A
Micaiah ‘s reply is merely, “ Wait and see.A You ‘ll happen out on the twenty-four hours you have to happen a hiding topographic point. “ A In other words, “ After Ahab is killed in the extroverted conflict and the ground forces returns place in confusion, there ‘s traveling to be a premium out on you Prophetss who promised victory.A Then you will recognize I was stating the truth. ”
But Zedekiah is non the merely 1 to convey effects to bear upon Micaiah for his honesty.A In poetries 26 and 27 we read that the King orders him to be returned to prison and placed on survival rations until Ahab returns safely.A To which Micaiah confidently responds, “ If you do return safely, so the Lord has non spoken by me. “ A And with that he turns and addresses the people, “ Mark my words, all you people! “ A He is non hesitating to name the whole state to witness the outcome- hopefully many people will turn to God in repentance.A
And that ‘s the last we hear of Micaiah.A
We do n’t cognize whether he died in prison or was released following Ahab ‘s death.A We do cognize, nevertheless, that he trusted in God, and God has promised to honor His faithful retainers, either in this life or the following.
Now, before reasoning with some of import practical rules which we can use to our ain lives, possibly a brief PS is in order sing the result of our story.A Despite Micaiah ‘s warning Ahab and Jehoshaphat went in front with their conflict programs against the Syrians at Ramothaˆ‘Gilead.A Ahab thought he could protect himself by have oning a camouflage in conflict, but a certain bowman drew his bow at random and struck the male monarch of Israel in a articulation of his armour.A He died that eventide, and the Canis familiariss licked his blood as the prophesier Elijah had predicted old ages earlier.
Jehoshaphat himself was saved merely by the tegument of his dentitions and was rebuked strongly by one of God ‘s Prophetss for disobeying the Word of the Lord.A We read of this reproof in 2 Histories 19:1aˆ‘3: “ Jehu the prophesier said to King Jehoshaphat: ‘Should you assist the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? A But there is some good in you, for you have removed the graven images from the land and you have set your bosom to seek God. ”
Back to Derek for some rules to chew over and prosecute.
I think that a cardinal one is this, Doug. : A God ‘s faithful retainers are ever in the minority.A
Nothing should be more clear from the Word of God than this: A if you speak the truth, if you live for Christ, if you take a base for righteousness, you ‘re traveling to be in the minority, and likely in a really little minority.A You ‘ll be different, you may be laughed at, you may be hated.A Remember that Jesus said, “ Do n’t be surprised if the universe hates you.A It hated Me before it hated you. ”
If you ‘re out in the workaˆ‘aaˆ‘day universe and garbage to curse, anticipate to be in the minority. If you ‘re in school and you refuse to laugh or even to listen to soil gags, expect to be in the minority.A If you live dependably with your partner, expect to be in the minority.A If you spend a quiet clip with God each twenty-four hours and acquire into a little group, expect to be in the minority.A If you give on a regular basis as God has blessed you in the support of God ‘s work, anticipate to be in the minority.A And if you serve God unselfishly in His Church, expect to be in the minority.A
God ‘s faithful retainers are ever in the minority.
Second: A God ‘s faithful retainers have reputes for honestness and righteousness, even among their enemies.A
You know, it ‘s one thing to hold a good repute among your friends and fellow church members.A It ‘s another thing to hold the same among your enemies.A Ahab said of Micaiah, “ I hate him because he ever tells the truth about me. “ A How many of God ‘s enemies hate you because your walk is so consistent that you bring strong belief on them every clip they ‘re around you?
Third: A God ‘s faithful retainers have daring and assurance in the Lord.A
Micaiah is a great illustration in that he did n’t confabulate with flesh and blood, he did n’t hesitate, and he did n’t see the negative effects to himself, but instead boldly spoke and lived the truth, come what may.A You know, God is still looking for work forces and adult females and immature people to stand boldly for the truth.
Back in 1994 Mother Teresa was invited to talk at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.A The US President and his married woman were sitting on the forepart row, and many cabinet members and political leaders from the Clinton disposal were present.A
There were a figure of subjects Mother Teresa could hold addressed that would hold generated awards from the powers that be-she could hold spoken of the power of supplication or the demand to love one another or the goodness of America-everyone would hold eaten that up.A But alternatively she focused her comments on the last, the least, and the lost.A She spoke with power and strong belief:
“ I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the kid, a direct violent death of the guiltless kid, slaying by the female parent herself.A And if we accept that a female parent can kill even her ain kid, how can we state other people non to kill one another? Please do n’t kill the child.A I want the child.A Please give me the child.A I am willing to accept any kid who would be aborted and to give that kid to a married twosome who will love the kid and be loved by the kid. From our kids ‘s place in Calcutta entirely, we have saved over 3000 kids from abortion.A These kids have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy. ”
That, friends, is a great illustration of the sort of honestness and unity we need today.A
God ‘s call on your life may be different than Mother Teresa ‘s, but whatever that call is, it will necessitate bravery and fortitude and honesty.A
As a affair of fact, even more of import than being honest about abortion is the demand to be honest about the lost status of people all around us and the fact that Jesus is the lone Way to God.A
Our civilization does n’t desire to hear that, but it needs to hear it.A It needs to hear that wickednesss are forgiven merely at the Cross.A If you take a base on truth, you are traveling to be odd-man-out ; you are traveling to be unappreciated, unpopular, possibly even persecuted.A Yet that is what God is naming us to do.A It is non peace at all costs ; it is truth at all costs.A May God find us faithful.