When I was a kid, I read Matthew 10:32-33 and was seriously affected by what Jesus said. As should everyone be with everything Jesus says. But this was different. I saw what he was saying through a lens of deficiency and awkward shyness. The passage reads: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father in Heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven." Those are some strong words. They read like a dare. A dare on God's part that would have us be willing and eager to make a fool of ourselves in front of the faceless crowd of society. Forgive my interpretation because it is a childish one. It's how I saw it for many years before God showed me that He doesn't dare anyone to do anything. He asks gently and then enables when once we agree.
Micaiah didn't care about any of that. John the Baptist didn't seem to care what other people thought about his appearance or the volume and timbre of his voice. He didn't care how many feathers he ruffled or toes he stepped on in proclaiming the word of God. Micaiah was the same.
Continuing on from yesterday, Micaiah tells Ahab a story (starting with 2 Chronicles 18:17). It can't be true can it? It's just a fable, an allegory, a fanciful tale. But it is in the Bible after all. And he prefaced his story with "Therefore hear the word of the Lord" (verse 18). You don't just say that without bringing to bear all the weight of Heaven behind your statement—it better be true. The penalty for false prophecy was death (Deuteronomy 18:20). Micaiah says (2 Chronicles 18:18) "I saw the Lord sitting upon His throne, and all the host of Heaven standing on His right hand and on His left." All the host of Heaven. This means angels, fallen and non. "And the Lord said, who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets..." (verse 21, emphasis mine) There are so many places to go with this "and this will we do if God permit." (Hebrews 6:3) But whoever, whatever this entity was that went out from God's presence to speak lies through channels (i.e. prophets) that were reserved for telling not only truth, but foretelling truth only—was authorized by God to do so. Not that God wanted these prophets to lie, mind you. That's not what I'm getting at. It's the devil (a fallen angel) who is the father of lies as Jesus referred to him in John's Gospel (8:44). What I am saying is that the spiritual culture was so dim in that area and at that time, that God allowed these prophets to prophesy lies. Those four-hundred (false) prophets of Ahab were tuned out from God and tuned in to a lying spirit. Again, we see Micaiah's willingness to run counter to the establishment and speak the truth—the truth as he truly saw it from God—and attempt to bring order. Order to the utter spiritual chaos which gripped the area. Chaos that crescendoed in Ahab's death.
So turn it around and look at it for today. If you heard lies coming from the pulpit, what would you do? Would you have the guts to at least pray about it—and speak up if the Lord led you to do so? This isn't a dare, this is reality. Because if you do see a problem, God will hold you (and me) accountable for praying for it, at the very least. And that's not the best way of looking at it, is it? If you see something, this means God trusts you to bring it before Him in prayer and petition. Don't let Him down.
"Son (or daughter) of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. And the hand of the Lord was there upon me; and He said unto me, Arise, go forth unto the plain, and I will there talk with thee." (Ezekiel 3:17-22)
To be continued.