If the title of this post means anything to you, then it means that you remember a certain Life cereal commercial. Besides, I didn’t think people would get my first choice:
We’ll Get Micaiah to Prophesy, He Hates Everything
King Ahab was convinced that Micaiah was a bad news prophet who never had anything good to say. I was just listening to a sermon which referenced him when today, I discovered that Stephen & Brooksyne Weber devoted TWO devotional posts to him this week.
I decided to combine them as one long one here because this is all worth reading:
Only What God Says
But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says” (2 Chronicles 18:13).
“What’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular.” This is a quote that hung on a banner in the youth room of our church in New England for many years. More to the point, “What’s popular in the world is usually not right for those seeking to please God and what’s right for those who seek to please God is usually not popular in the world.”
This is an issue that others have faced in previous generations. In fact many of the Biblical giants were not popular in their time.
When we think of prophets in the Bible we likely first consider those who have books named after them. But there were other great prophets such as Elijah, Elisha and Nathan.
One of the lesser known is a prophet by the name of Micaiah (we pronounce his name like Isaiah since its spelling is very similar). His story is told in parallel accounts in 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18. He was a prophet to the apostate Northern Kingdom and was known for telling it like it is. People like that may not be popular in their time but their boldness is sorely needed for their generation! Their words and actions may not just be for their time but may affect many other generations as well.
Jehoshaphat, king of the southern Kingdom (Judah) and Ahab, king of the northern kingdom had entered into an ungodly alliance and were preparing for an attack. Jehoshaphat had agreed to proceed but then remembered that he should seek the will of the Lord. His “Charge Ahead” attitude got ahead of Moses’ command, “Listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 30:20b)!
King Ahab got together four hundred prophets that assured them of victory in battle. News of victory surely was a “sign” that God was in this but Jehoshaphat, on the face of such news, detected that these were false prophets. Exercising discernment he asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” 2 Chronicles 18:6). For Jehoshaphat the untampered truth was more important than false assurance.
Indeed there was a prophet of the Lord but Ahab did not want to consult him! It seems even Ahab had some discernment but tried to ignore it, hoping to get his way.
His response is like many who don’t want to hear what God says. He had gathered around him those who said what he wanted to hear. The apostle Paul in the New Testament warned: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3). I think we live in such a time as well!
Ahab probably spoke just above a whisper through clenched teeth when he finally revealed, “There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD”. Surely his eyes were full of deadly venom as he went on to confess, “I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
So Micaiah was called and pressured by the messenger to give a prophetic word agreeable to the other 400. He told Micaiah, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.”
But Micaiah didn’t succumb to the messenger’s ungodly counsel. He reasoned that kings on earth do not have the same authority as the King of heaven. His response, although obscure, is one of the greatest statements of faith and acts of obedience in the Bible, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”
Today we need to take some lessons from Micaiah. He didn’t go along with the crowd just to accommodate others’ ideology, even though they represented great authority on earth. Our counsel and lifestyle must reflect the principles set forth in Holy Scripture, not the ever changing values and evolving definitions presented in our present society.
Mark My Words
Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” (2 Chronicles 18:27).
Our last message was about a little-known prophet who took a stand for the Lord. Today we want to share another insight from the account. The kings had consulted the prophets regarding their battle plans. “Go,” they answered, “for God will give it into the king’s hand.” In fact one of them by the name of Zedekiah added some flamboyant visual effects, similar to the style of some very showy evangelists of our time!
But Micaiah stated, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says” (2 Chronicles 18:13). What God had directed Micaiah to say was certainly not well received. His prophetical word is summed up in this simple pronouncement: “The LORD has decreed disaster for you.” That’s certainly not what Ahab wanted to hear, yet his riches, his alliance with Jehoshaphat, and his kingly position did not change such a deadly pronouncement!
After receiving Micaiah’s news of disaster Ahab attempted to silence the prophet with these orders: “Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.”
The king’s order for imprisonment and food deprivation would surely force Micaiah to modify his original prophecy. And yet in his parting prophetic statement he boldly added: “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” (2 Chronicles 18:27).
Notice the responsibility Micaiah took. He forthrightly stated that if Ahab did not return safely, “the LORD has not spoken through me.” Over my lifetime I have heard some who claim to speak for the Lord and miss the mark in situations that parallel our story today. Yet they make excuses or go on to try again and again. Guess enough on the issues and at some point they’re going to get it right! This is true of astrologists as well.
Ahab ignored the counsel and died on the battlefield, validating Micaiah’s prophecy. An amazing detail about Scripture that intrigues me is that the very last we read about Micaiah is that he’s in prison. There’s no record of what happened to him after Ahab’s body was recovered from the battlefield. Micaiah is one of the lesser known prophets that I want to talk to when I get to heaven. I’m anxious to hear “the rest of the story”!
The main encouragement to end this message with is this: Let us be faithful in declaring God’s Word regardless of the cost.
~Stephen & Brooksyne Weber