“Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” So they said, “Go up, for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.””
II Chronicles 18:5 NKJV
“Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Therefore please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement.” And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.” Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” And he said, “Go and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand!” So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’ ””
II Chronicles 18:12-16 NKJV
These times are perilous indeed. Everything that we have held as “normal” has ceased to be normal, and the changes we are seeing are sudden and breathtaking. Just weeks ago, the housing market was a seller’s dream, and now the bottom is about to fall out, causing many to possibly lose their homes, and those selling to find themselves bankrupt. Many other economic indicators are showing a downward slide, and even personal security is in doubt.
Every aspect of life is in flux, being rapidly transformed, mutated, and twisted into unfamiliar forms. In these uncertain times, people need guidance, truthful guidance. For those who are in the world, there is little truth, as we are in a world full of yes men, people who will tell you what you want to hear.
Ahab was in such a situation, when he wanted guidance on whether he should go to war. Ahab, king of Israel is type of the corrupted, and unsaved, surrounding himself with people who only give approval, and rejecting those who bring the truth. His prophets assured him of his victory if he went.
It was the wise and godly king Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, who advised Ahab to seek other counsel. Jehoshaphat knew the Lord and was devoted to the teaching of the word of God. His truth was not grounded in yes men, but the knowledge of the holy.
“So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!” Then the king of Israel called one of his officers and said, “Bring Micaiah the son of Imla quickly!””
II Chronicles 18:7-8 NKJV
In Micaiah, Ahab heard the truth, but dispute this, he refused to follow, and went on into battle and was killed.
One of the realities these days is that many people, when confronted with the truth, opt for lies, and like Ahab, have found themselves in peril. As our world crumbles around us, there are those who are like Micaiah, speaking truth with love and presenting the Good News of the Gospel to people. Often that message can be perceived as evil, as the Holy Spirit confronts our sin, turning the word of God into hammer, that strike at the stony heart of the sinner.
Even amongst the followers of Jesus, there are those who choose not to hear the word of God, who choose not to be surrounded by those who bring the truth. They become as people who desire a message that eases the heart, that softens the blow of conviction.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
II Timothy 4:3-5 NKJV
It is easy for the faithful follower of Jesus, true to the word, to become discouraged, but we must be faithful. So many have turned away from the truth, and gone after fables. We know that there is little time. Everything is pointing to a cataclysm that defies all explanations or rationalizations, whether they be supernatural or secular.
Bad times are ahead and there is no fix.
Brothers and sisters, let us be bold and go out and tell the truth, regardless of how it is received.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
II Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV
There will be many who will not listen, and many more who will go on with their sinful ways. I believe that each of those will have that moment of regret when they stand in judgement at the Great White Throne, as every opportunity presented will likely move through their consciousness in a flash.
Some of us will be persecuted for our efforts, and some of us may die as a result. Let us rejoice even in this! We have been blessed to have the opportunity to serve the Lord, and we have been given the opportunity to have fellowship in the sufferings of our Lord Jesus.
“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:10-11 NKJV
May we have the heart of Paul, facing the end of his life, but looking forward with joy, as he anticipated the glory to come.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
Let us also look forward to that glory! Let us speak the truth, unflinchingly.
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