1 Kings 22:1-28

Read 1 Kings 22:1-28
Ever been caught between a proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’? I think we all have experienced that at one time in our lives. You get that pain in your gut as if you know that there’s no way to get out of a situation without hurting someone or losing something. It's a terrible feeling, even for trivial matters.
This is the position the good prophet Michaiah was experiencing. Ahab, the king of Northern Israel at the time, arguably the worst king Israel ever had, was a vile man, did despicable things and he had surrounded himself with ‘yes men’ who only told him what he wanted to hear. Jehoshaphat was the king of Southern Israel and he was only slightly a better king than Ahab. He at least recognized the difference between a ‘yes man’ prophet and a true prophet (v.7). But then there is Michaiah.
I think there are a few things we learn from Michaiah. First, we learn that speaking truth with grace is difficult. We talk a lot about grace and truth at Northpoint because those two ideas best describe the way our faith finds expression. While we seek to be gracious and truthful in all we do, we recognize it’s a difficult task for many reasons, one of them being our sinful nature finding expression in selfishness. We can taint truth with our ego, and we taint grace with niceness, which both stem from deep-seated pride. But Michaiah speaks and tells the truth in a gracious way.
The second thing we learn from Michaiah is perseverance under pressure. Michaiah never faltered, even though he was yelled at, mocked, hit in the face and most likely died in prison. Perseverance, like endurance, takes practice and little by little it is built over time. No one goes from couch potato to running marathons overnight, but instead gradually working toward the goal, pushing their body to its limits one step at a time. While we don’t know much about Michaiah before and after his sole appearance here, we know he came from prison and went back to prison. We know he was well known for speaking difficult things to King Ahab (v.8), we can assume this wasn’t his first proverbial ‘rodeo’.
The final thing we learn from Michaiah is confidence in the Lord. We see this at least twice in the story, first when the messenger brought him out of prison and begged him to only tell good things about Ahab and Michaiah said ‘I can only tell him what the Lord tells me.’ His confidence was in God who had placed him in the difficult role of prophet. We see this a second time in verses 26-28, when Ahab orders him to be put back into prison until he returns safely. Michaiah responds ‘If you ever return safely, then the Lord has not spoken through me.’
Pray that you would have confidence in God, and the perseverance of Michaiah when you experience difficult things. And pray you will speak the truth with grace.

David Flug | Community Life Pastor

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