Jump Start # 3270
1 Kings 22:14 “But Micaiah said, ‘As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I shall speak.’”
He was a prophet of God, but he is mostly forgotten today. He didn’t write any books of the Bible, but he left an incredible example for us. Judah and Israel were separate nations at this time and generally they did not get along very well. The king of Judah, Jehoshaphat contacts Ahab, king of Israel, to combine their forces and go to war against Syria. Judah’s king wanted conformation from the Lord. Ask the prophet is what he tells Ahab. Ahab has prophets, a bunch. He has about four hundred and they are all yes men to him. Whatever Ahab wants, they assure him that God is for it. But this doesn’t set well with Judah’s king. He knows that Ahab has surrounded himself with pagan prophets and false gods. Judah’s king wants to know what the prophet of the Lord says.
There seems to be one lone prophet of God, Micaiah. Ahab hates him. He is told to get in line with the other prophets and speak favorably as they have. Micaiah is not a ‘yes’ man. He fears no one, including the king. Our verse is a statement of his conviction. I will only say what the Lord tells me. And, the word he receives is not favorable. Israel’s king will be killed. The nation will be scattered. Micaiah is slapped on the face for saying this. Ahab has him sent to prison with just enough bread and water to keep him alive.
The battle takes place and Israel’s king, Ahab, is killed. The chapter ends with the prophet still in prison and nothing else is told of his life. Did he die in prison? Did the next king release him? We don’t know.
The courage and conviction of Micaiah is needed so much these days. Tickling itching ears makes a preacher popular and well liked, but it doesn’t set well with the Lord. Telling people what they like to hear is not always what they need to hear. Crowds flock to hear the message ‘You’re doing great and nothing needs to change.’ Current culture has the message of the pulpit following the whims of society. The modern church has given up on the holiness of God’s people. And, even among our own, things are being said without Biblical proof. Feelings are taking a precedent over Scriptures and the concern for happiness has placed truth in the backseat of our faith. What’s missing these days is the spirit of Micaiah, one who will only speak as the Lord says.
First, what God says has never been popular. It wasn’t for the itching ear crowd of Timothy. It wasn’t with Ahab. And, it’s not today. Please the people or please the Lord, that’s what is at stake. Ahab wanted someone to signoff on his plans. He didn’t want a debate. He didn’t want some to stop him. Agree with what I want or get out of my way. And, that spirit is just what the devil is looking for.
Second, it’s easy to define words and terms to fit our liking rather than use the words as God uses them. We must let the Bible interpret itself. Notice how God uses words. Notice the order of the words. When we begin with our situation, as Ahab did, then we bend, twist, redefine God’s words to approve of us. Ahab was ready to go to war. His mind was made up. When we start with that, be it a new innovation in worship, a new way of looking at divorce, a new sensation when we pray, we’ll find a way to make it seem right. What we need to do is begin with God. The starting point is not our circumstances, but what God says. From what God says, we then look at our lives. Ahab had it backwards. And, much too often, we have it backwards today. What the Lord says, that I will speak. Not what I say. Not what I want. What the Lord says—nothing more and nothing less.
Third, God’s word doesn’t change through the seasons, years or from external findings. So many like to run to secular studies, secular writings and build bridges from that to understanding God’s word. What about the people who never had access to those secular studies? What about the people who lived and died before those ancient writings were discovered? Are we to assume they didn’t know God’s word correctly? Do we have to have these other things in order to know God’s word? Can a person be saved with just the Bible and nothing else? Can the church function, pleasingly to the Lord, with just the Bible and nothing else?
Micaiah was slapped. Micaiah was thrown into a prison. Micaiah was nearly starved. And, what did he do to deserve this? He spoke the truth. The followers of error will always try to suppress the Micaiah’s, who speak as the Lord speaks. The troublers of Israel may be more in number and be in powerful positions, but God knows what He says. There is a place close to God for those who have the heart like Micaiah.
Ahab refused to listen to Micaiah. Ahab had his mind made up. And, Ahab died, just as God said he would.
What the Lord says, that I shall speak!