The killer is in the cafeteria. You watch in horror as Abigail slowly creeps into the dark room toward certain doom. You scream at the television, “DON’T GO IN THERE.” But your cries are not heard. How many times in real life have we seen someone going down path that wouldn’t lead to any place good? How many times have we watched in silence as someone engaged in sinful activity?
As Christians we have a mandate to speak up. How sad that many are more inclined to yell, “STOP” to a fictional character in a movie than to those heading on a path toward hell. Friend, we must speak up and speak the truth. That is what LOVE looks like. Love sees someone going down a path to destruction and blocks the way.
Micaiah was a prophet headed toward an uncomfortable situation. The kings of Israel and Judah were preparing for a battle against Aram and were wanting to hear from the Lord before preceding. They had already asked 400 other prophets, who had told them victory was a guarantee! Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, felt like something was off so he asked if there was anyone else and the king of Israel, Ahab, begrudgingly declared, “Yea theres one more, but he’s horrible and only brings bad news.”
Now Micaiah was on his way.
1 Kings 22:13-14 (NLT) the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.”
14 But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what the Lord tells me to say.”
This is an awkward situation. It’s like your bosses assistant coming up to you, “Go in and tell the boss what he wants to hear. Everyone else already has, just tell him the merger will be a success!” Many would have been tempted to go along with that plan. After all, had the other 400 prophets been wrong? Surely it would be ok to just agree with them.
But Micaiah made it clear, he would only say what the Lord put in his heart to say. He wouldn’t lie, he wouldn’t go with the crowd. He would only proclaim the truth.
Well, sort of.
1 Kings 22:15-16 (NLT) When Micaiah arrived before the king, Ahab asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should we hold back?”
Micaiah replied sarcastically, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for the Lordwill give the king victory!”
16 But the king replied sharply, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the Lord?”
Micaiah is now known, to my anyway, as the sarcastic prophet. He actually told the King what he wanted to hear, but clearly in a way that the king knew he not being truthful. He must have had a pattern of responding this way. Maybe that’s part of why Ahab hated him? I will say this, I don’t recommend following in Micaiah’s steps with the sarcasm.
After Ahab’s reprimand Micaiah told him what the Lord had said. “The Lord has pronounced your doom.” (1 Kings 22:23) Due to Ahab’s long history of great sin and lack of repentance, God had been plotting Ahab’s death. This couldn’t have been an easy word to deliver, but it was the truth. It took courage for Micaiah to deliver such devastating news to the the king of Israel.
Micaiah was true to his word. He spoke the truth, even though it was obvious the king would not want to hear it. We are in a similar state today. People do not want to hear the truth. Let’s look again at the verse we looked at yesterday and really key in on verse five.
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 keep a clear mind, be bold and unafraid of suffering for the Lord. Tell people the Good News and fully carry out the ministry God’s given us. The challenge is that the Good News of the Gospel is only good news if you are wanting to receive it.
Many today know bits and pieces of the truth, yet close their ears to the fullness of God’s word. They want to take the promises of God, without the holiness of God. Others flat out reject the existence of God. Sharing Jesus is as difficult as it has ever been. Standing up for Jesus will bring you opposition. Not everyone will want to hear it. Should we stop telling the truth? No!
If the stand you take for Jesus brings just one person to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ then it was all worth it. Let us not cower down to the pressures to remain silent, but instead boldly speak the truth, in love to all the world.