Monday, September 9, 2013

Merciful Monday: THE TRUE KING

When I think of a King, I think of someone that demands respect, honor, and even fear. I think of someone with countless willing subjects that would never defy him. I think of intelligence, power, regality, class and nobility.

King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat had all of these things. They were dressed to kill in adorned robes, sitting on what I imagine to be thrones made of pure gold and other precious metals with their subjects before them as they discussed the proposition of war. 2 Chronicles 18:9 says, “King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on thrones at the threshing floor near the gate of Samaria. All [400!!!] of Ahab’s prophets were prophesying there in front of them.” I’m sure they could’ve called to wage war and at a moment’s notice, they would have hundreds of soldiers before them, yet they sought prophets for guidance.  

They sought the prophets that they thought would placate their own desires, favoring the decision they had already made in their minds—to go to war with Ramoth-Gilead. Don’t we do this often, seeking advice from the friends that we know will tell us what we want to hear and agree with the decisions we’ve already made, instead of consulting “wise counsel” as Proverbs 1:5 commands? Ahab knew that there was a true prophet of God that he could consult. He said, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah” (2 Chronicles 18:7). Jehoshaphat, however, had a little bit of sense. He knew he shouldn’t go to war without consulting a real prophet of God. So he persuaded Ahab to talk to Micaiah anyway.

As we read, in the end, Ahab was killed because Micaiah advised him not to go to war with Ramoth-Gilead and he did so anyway. The thing that stood out about this passage to me is Micaiah’s behavior in front of the kings. He knew that that they were royalty and he knew of the respect, honor, etc. that they demanded, but more importantly, he knew God as the Supreme King. He knew that he should honor God above all else, and walk in His power. He spoke frankly and truthfully to the kings, despite their shock at his gall. He did not mince his words, but spoke confidently of what he knew to be true because God had showed it to him. Despite the fear of being arrested and forced to starve, he stayed true to his King, by speaking the word to Ahab as God showed it to him.

While earthly leaders should be treated with respect (as all people should), we need to acknowledge God above all, by being true to him and speaking in confidence when he tells us to do so. I know this is something that I struggle with. Sometimes I am not confident in praying for others or telling someone about godly things even when I know that it is something that God has placed it on my heart. But I’ve learned that like Micaiah, I need not fear, because THE TRUE KING will reign forever and ever.

Merciful Mondays: Jael

For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31

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