Be honest. When we know someone is gonna tell us something we don’t wanna hear, we are less inclined to ask their opinion aren’t we? If it’s half an hour till dinner and you are really craving some ice cream, you’re not gonna ask your mom if you can have some ice cream are you? She’ll say, “NO!” Your gonna go ask your sister who will be like, “That’s a great idea, you get ice cream and I’ll have some too with chocolate syrup please!”
There are times when we have a problem, we don’t want to be told what we don’t want to hear. In the same way many times we don’t wanna say things that people don’t wanna hear. I have news, the truth is the truth even when we don’t want hear it. God’s word is God’s word even when we want to dismiss it. Today I want to look at a really great story in 1 Kings 22.
Let’s set the stage. The Kingdom of Israel was divided. Resulting from the sin of David’s descendants. There was the Kingdom of Judah, where the bloodline of David still ruled and the Kingdom of Israel, whose Kings had become more and more evil leading the people further into idol worship. While Judah also had Kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord, it just so happens at this point in history, Jehoshaphat, who like his father Asa, did what was pleasing to the Lord.
Jehoshaphat had made peace with the king of Israel. That man was truly a wicked man named Ahab who had done more evil than all the kings before him. You might know him and his wife Jezebel from a certain confrontation with the prophet Elijah where fire came down from Heaven in a great contest against the prophets of Baal. Ahab was not a good man.
Still he noticed a city that should rightly belong to Israel, but was currently occupied by Aram so he called up Jehoshaphat and asked, “Will you join me in battle”? The response was, “Of course, but let’s first ask the Lord.” So King Ahab called up 400 prophets and asked if they should go to war or refrain, and overwhelmingly they declared, “Go, the Lord will give the king victory!”
This was great news, but Jehoshaphat knew something didn’t quite sit right, so he asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We need to ask him the same question!”
1 Kings 22:8 (NLT) The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.”
The king of Judah rightly pointed out, “Ahab! A king should desire to hear the word of the Lord, even if it means trouble for us! We don’t need people telling us what we want to hear, we need the truth!”
Too often we look for people who will tell us what we want rather than what we need to hear. In fact scripture tells us that people will do exactly that.
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NLT) For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
We must look for Godly men and women who will speak life into us. We need to hear the truth even when it is a hard truth. It is better to have my feelings hurt and my soul saved than to blissfully walk on a path to hell.
The prophet Ahab was avoiding was named Micaiah and when he came he essentially brought the news Ahab feared, that he was gonna meet his end in the coming battle. God is a merciful God and even in Ahab’s wickedness had given him many opportunities to turn from his sin, but time had run its course.
Friends, time is coming to an end for us all. Do you want to use the days you have left to blindly enjoy the spoils of worldly living or do you want to take up your spiritual right as children of God and shine light into the darkness.
The time for selfish living is over and the hour never more urgent. I plead with you to open your heart to the fullness of God’s truth. Walk in His light, pursue holiness and the righteousness of God. We must put away our world pleasing and take up Christ pleasing. Above all else pursue truth! Put away lies and all who would dilute the power of God’s word.
There is much work to do, and nigh little time to do it.