“But Micaiah said, ‘As the Lord lives, what my God says, that I will speak.’” (2 Chronicles 18:13)
Chapter 18 of second Chronicles opens with Jehoshaphat entering into a marriage alliance with Ahab king of Israel. I don’t understand why Jehoshaphat did this, since Ahab was notorious for wickedness. No good could possibly come out of this alliance. At any rate, Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in going to battle against Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat agreed, but first he wanted to inquire for the word of the Lord. 400 of Ahab’s prophets prophesied favorably regarding the battle’s outcome, but Jehoshaphat wasn’t satisfied. Reluctantly, Ahab had to summon Micaiah, the prophet whom he hated because he never prophesied good concerning him. Ahab’s messenger pressured Micaiah to join the other prophets in speaking favorably, but Micaiah was resolved to speak only what God speaks. And that is precisely what he did: he prophesied that Ahab would die in this battle. As a consequence, Ahab commanded that Micaiah be put in prison.
There is a lesson here for us who preach. We preach not to please men, but to faithfully communicate God’s Word even if it means displeasing those to whom we preach and incurring their ire. Of course, we must speak the truth in love, but it is still the truth that we must speak. As Paul says, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
Lord, give me the courage to speak the truth in love even if it means wounding others out of faithfulness to you and to their souls. Amen.