As this book of Kings concludes I’m fascinated by how Israel’s King Ahab despises the LORD’S word by hating Micaiah’s word. This man was a true prophet who unlike those who tickled the kings ear and spoke of peace in the kingdom, Micaiah foretold the truth that defeat and death awaited King Ahab.
King Ahab is encouraged by Jehoshaphat King of Judah to inquire of the LORD before going into battle. Ahab gathered his four hundred plus prophets but after hearing them Jehoshaphat knew they were not the real deal (Vv.5-7) and asks: “is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here…?” Ahab’s response reveals the hearts tendency to reject God’s word:
“8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”
Note here that Ahab hates God’s prophet not because what is said is false, but because it is a message of doom for the hard hearted king. When Christians share the gospel message faithfully and believers reject it, they in essence are acting as Ahab did. We’ve all fallen suit at one time or another in our lives.
Eventually Micaiah’s word came to pass and Ahab died in battle. Before going to war the king imprisoned the prophet and nothing else is stated. Micaiah comes in and out of the story in a heartbeat (Vv.13-28). He assures the king that if what he says does not come to pass, then the LORD did not speak through him. The man of God was willing to be wrong but not at God’s expense. The fact that what he said came to pass was proof that he was a true prophet.
Jesus spoke in Mathew 5 about receiving a prophet’s reward because of being persecuted for His sake: “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. A real prophet like a real Christian will speak the truth, even if it brings persecution because God’s kingdom is of far greater worth than the temporary comforts this fleeting life brings.
This microcosm of events in space time history is much the same like everyone else’s: the word of the LORD comes and how we respond to it determines our destiny. There’s a price to pay for being God’s mouth piece. May Christ embolden us to be truth tellers not just truth bearers.