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Listening to the Wrong Voices

Listening to the Wrong Voices – The Error of King Ahab

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I would like to revisit a story in history. (9th century B.C.) This story offers principles that could be life changing. This story headlines a prophet by the name is Macaiah.

Micaiah (Hebrew: מיכיהו Mikay’hu “Who is like Yah?”), son of Imlah, is a prophet in the Hebrew Bible. He is one of the four disciples of Elijah and not to be confused with Micah, prophet of the Book of Micah. (P. J. Leithart. 2006. 1 & 2 Kings – Page 161)

If you are interested in hearing about the events leading up to the appearance of the prophet Micaiah, continue reading!

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There were two kings. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah who reigned c. 870 – 849 BC and Ahab, the king of Israel who reigned c. 871 – c. 852 BC.

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During King Jehoshaphat’s visit with King Ahab, King Ahab asked him if he would go with him to take over Ramoth-gilead, which was under the rule of King Aram. King Ahab went on to explain that the city of Ramothgilead was rightfully theirs, so they should take it away from the king of Syria.

*nugget alert* Be careful not to allow someone to blindly influence your actions, they could have underlying motivations that are meant to promote themselves. This is relevant even if what they are saying is true. Check out King Jehoshaphat’s response.

King Jehoshaphat replied, “Hmmm, let us inquire of the Lord.”

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King Ahab gathered his prophets, about four hundred men, and asked them, “Shall I go against Ramothgilead, or not?” The prophets all responded, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver them into the hands of the king.”

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*nugget alert* Experiencing or hearing something Good, does not mean it came from God. Pray for Discernment. It is necessary because it allows you to look beyond the smiles on a face, and into the frowns on the heart.

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After hearing these prophets, King Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord besides these men, that we might enquire of him?”

*nugget alert* It is interesting how both kings heard four hundred prophets tell them to go and war against the king of Syria because they will win, yet after hearing; one of the kings asked if there were another prophet of the Lord besides these men. The nugget here is to be leery when you have a “crowd” agreeing with you. Be aware when you have a lot of people telling you what you want to hear. Get a second opinion. God is not always in the center of “the majority.”

King Ahab answered King Jehoshaphat saying, “There is one man named Micaiah, son of Imlah, that we may enquire of but I hate him; for he does not ever prophesy good things concerning me, only evil things.” King Jehoshaphat replied, “Don’t say that.” So King Ahab relented, and had an officer go and get Micaiah. Once the messenger reached Micaiah, he told him that the King of Israel needed him to prophecy and to make sure what he says is favorable like the other prophets.

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*nugget alert* In reference to the king of Israel, it was interesting how he decided that he hated the man who told him truth because it was unpleasant. How often do we start disliking or mistreating someone, just because we do not want to hear the truth they are speaking? How many times have we ostracized someone because their life style made us feel convicted? Be careful gathering to yourselves, people who tickle your ears but care nothing for your soul. These types of people will lead you into destruction. The other thing that stood out about the previous passage was how the messenger tried to “coach” Micaiah on what he needed to say. For those who are not familiar with a true prophet of God, they only speak what the Lord tells them to speak.

While Micaiah and the messenger were on their way back, the two kings were seated on their thrones, and the prophets took turns prophesying to them about whether or not they should go to Ramothgilead. Each prophet’s speech were more elaborate than the last. They were feeling really important sharing their pleasant prophecies with the kings. To read more about what some of them said go to this link https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+22&version=HCSB

In a nutshell, all of the prophets were in agreement. The messenger and Micaiah arrived and the messenger reminded him to say good things like the other prophets had done. Micaiah told him that he would comply. King Ahab then asked Micaiah if they should go to Ramothgilead, and Micaiah immediately replied in a mocking manner, “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver them in your hands.”

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King Ahab knew something was amiss, it was not like Micaiah to agree like that, so he told Micaiah to please speak the truth in the name of the Lord. Micaiah then replied, “I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.” 

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*nugget alert* A couple of things are worth mentioning from the previous passage. Micaiah tried to parrot what the other prophets were saying, but King Ahab already knew it was not true. So he pushed Micaiah to speak the truth because he wanted to know. Let this be a lesson to always pursue the truth, instead of the deception. No matter how you “feel” about it.

The second nugget that stood out was the prophecy itself. King Ahab was the king of Israel, and in the prophecy it said that Micaiah saw Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep without a shepherd. Micaiah went on to say that the Lord said they did not have a master, and that every man should return home in peace. This is basically saying they did not have the leadership or blessing to go forward to war against the king of Syria and that if they wanted to remain in peace; they needed to go home. Do you all see how important it is to know whose voice you are listening too? All of these prophets claimed to be from the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the bible; yet out of 401 men/prophets, only 1 spoke from the Lord. Ponder that for a moment.

King Ahab looked over to King Jehoshaphat and said, “See, I told you he never says anything good about me.”

Micaiah went on to say, “Here what the word of the Lord says, I saw the Lord sitting on his throne and all of the host of heaven standing on his right and left. and the Lord asked, who shall persuade Ahab that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this matter and another said on that matter. There came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord asked him wherewith? The spirit said, I will go forth and i will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all of his prophets. The Lord replied, you shall persuade him and prevail, go forth and do so.” Then Micaiah finished by saying, “Behold the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets and the Lord has spoken evil concerning you.”

*nugget alert* It is amazing how the end of the prophecy went on to explain why all of these men only had good things to say instead of the truth. They have been affected by a lying spirit. How sad that Ahab had moved so far away from God and his word, that he no longer could discern the difference between the truth of God and the lies of the devil. Be leery not to fall into that same position because even though this happened a long time ago, it is still happening today.

There are many voices speaking to us even more so today through Twitter, FB, Instagram, Blogs, YouTube, News, Media, etc… Many voices, but most are not aligned with what the Lord is saying. Think of these prophets, how far they had gone away from the Lord. So far that they thought they were speaking on his behalf, and did not realize they were being used by an evil spirit. This is truly a terrifying state to be in.

After Micaiah gave this prophecy, Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah and leader of the prophets went near and slapped Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak to you?” He was being sarcastic because he believed he was a true oracle of the lord.

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Micaiah answered him saying, “You will see in that day, when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” King Ahab commanded Micaiah be incarcerated until they all return from Ramothgilead. Micaiah responded, “If you return in peace, then the Lord has not spoken through me. Hearken O people, everyone of you.” Then he was taken away to jail.

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*nugget alert* The marks of a true prophet of the Lord, their words always came true, 100 percent of the time, and they never contradicted the word of God (bible).

So both kings headed into battle against the king of Syria and Ahab had the bright idea to borrow some of Jehoshaphat’s robes. This was to disguise himself in the battle. On one end of the battle field, some of the soldiers from Syria saw King Jehoshaphat and was about attack him, but he cried out to the Lord. Once they got closer and saw it was not the king of Israel, Ahab, they retreated and left him alone.

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On the other end of the battle field, a Syrian soldier drew his bow at a venture and it ended up striking King Ahab between the joints of his harness.

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He told his soldiers he was wounded and they carried him out of the host and laid him in the chariot. By the evening he died and bled out in his chariot, the proclamation of his death went out, and everyone returned to their own city and country.

*nugget alert* It was interesting that King Ahab wore King Jehoshaphat’s robes, and yet when the Syrian soldiers were right in front of King Jehoshaphat they decided not to harm him. On the other end of the spectrum, a random Syrian soldier decided to draw his bow at a person far away, and end up striking King Ahab.

This goes to show how accurate God’s word is. It did not matter that Ahab had disguised himself or that he was far away, God’s word still prevailed and the false prophets word did not. This is an important lesson overall because each of us have the choice to align ourselves with truth today by deciding to accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior and confess that we are a sinner. If we pray this we will be given his Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Truth to guide us. John 16:12 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

We are living in a world full of voices, but there are only two sources, the Spirit of Truth or the Spirit of Error. Make sure you are on the right side, do not make the error of King Ahab. For any questions about this story, I can be reached through my contact page.

Be blessed

The school bell has rung, class dismissed

 

 

 

 

Categories
The Invisible Ally

Surrounded by an Invisible Army: Open Your Eyes

The school bell has rung, class is not in session

Have you ever felt like your back was against the wall or that you have reached a point where you could not fight or run? I was reminded of story I read in the Book of Second Kings Chapter 6, when Elisa said,

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Let me tell you a little background of the story of a man who woke up one morning and was literally surrounded by his enemies. God’s prophet, Elisha had a great enemy in the King of Syria. The prophet Elisha had warned the King of Israel of his impending danger of attack by the King of Syria, and of continuing to sin against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So in the past, the King of Israel had avoided a lot of pitfalls by listening to the Prophet Elisha. One thing that was noted in Matthew Henry’s Commentary is that the King of Israel listened when it came to protecting himself from dying at the hands of the King of Syria, but did not listen to repenting of his sins against God. (Ironic right?)

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Either way, the Prophet Elisha found himself in quite a situation after giving valuable advice to Israel’s army yet again because the King of Syria decided he wanted to take him as a prisoner and told his army to collect him dead or alive.

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They were tired of Elisha listening to God and providing the King of Israel information on how to overcome their enemies. This information proved to help them win again and again, as long as they were in obedience with God’s Word. So they knew their only solution in defeated the Israelites were to rid them of their Prophet from God.

One question pondered in the commentary was, “Why did the King of Syria decide to send an entire army after one man? A man who was not hidden behind a fortress like royalty or guarded by men?” To send an entire army after a one man proves how much of a threat he was to them. So under the cloak of darkness, the Syrian army began to surround the city and wait. As the morning’s sun began to rise, so did the voice of Elisha’s servant. He exclaimed in panic and I am paraphrasing, “Master what shall we do? We cannot fight or run, we may as well just give up!”  The servant saw their enemies surrounding them with swords and spears.

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Elisha responded calmly, “Do not fear! For there are more on our side than theirs.” The servant was confused because he only saw that they were about to be destroyed by what was in front of them. Then Elisha said a quick prayer to the Lord, asking Him to open the eyes of his servant, so he could see. Suddenly the servant could see with the same enlightened eyes as Elisha and he saw that the hills surrounding the Syrian Army were not empty, but were full of horses and chariots of fire.

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As the horses and chariots of fire descended, Elisha prayed that the Syrian Army be smote with blindness and they were. He led them to a city called Samaria. Once they arrived, Elisha prayed that the Lord would allow the men to see. Once their eyes were able to see, the King of Israel asked Elisha could they kill them? Elisha said no, feed them and let them go back to their king. Once they returned to the King of Syria, they no longer bothered the Land of Israel. Elisha’s simple faith in God, reduced an unstoppable enemy to nothing.

This should be an encouragement to believers today because scripture says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrew 13:8) We do not have to feel like we are alone, or that we have to rely on our own strengths. We also do not need to only trust in what we see with our own eyes because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesian 6:12)

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Reflecting questions: Where do we put our faith? When we encounter an enemy during our daily situations, do we react like Elisha, or do we react like his servant?

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!