Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A HIdden Prophet

When I opened the Word to do some morning reading, I was figuring on the Sermon on the Mount, but somehow found myself in the last chapter of I Kings.  So, I was not really looking for him, but there he was, nonetheless.  Micaiah, a prophet of the Lord.  Unlike Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or the likes, no section of the Scripture bears his name.  The story tells us of King Jehoshapat of Judah going up to the Northern Kingdom of Israel for a meeting with its king, Ahab.  After deciding to join forces to do battle, the King of Judah said, "Inquire first for the word of the Lord." (I Kings 22:5)  After hearing from the 400 prophets of Israel who promised victory, the call went out to Micaiah who said. "I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd..." (I Kings 22:17)

All Micaiah had to do was say a pleasing word and he could have gone back to his life.  But, he would not say the easy word.  He would not speak the word the powers before him wanted to hear.  The only word he would speak was the word which he knew to be the Word of the Lord.  There are churches today where Micaiah would be unwelcome.  Today's church culture is too full of people who want to have their ears tickled with entertaining words and to have their consciences soothed with comforting compromising words.  No one wants to hear someone stand before them saying, "Thus says the Lord..."

It would seem that the church culture is empty of theological absolutes and moral imperatives.  The power has been taken from the Word of God and given to the gods of common consensus and popular opinion.  A man of God like Micaiah would not be intent of saying the pleasing word which would guarantee popularity and success as success is defined by the world.  Maybe this is part of the problem the church faces today.  Too few of us are like this Old Testament prophet who knew he could only thunder forth the Word of God. 

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