“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.
If we will acknowledge the ministry a particular office in the church of Christ … then we must also confess it is not anyone’s work, though never so able, except called to the office….
Those that are not sent and commissionated by God’s call for ministerial work, they may speak truths as well as they that are, yet of him that acts by virtue of his calling, we may say that he preacheth with authority, and not like those that can show no commission, but what the opinion themselves have of their own abilities give them.
– William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, p. 285
Speak the words, convey the data, and step aside… Step aside and they will know what you know because they know it already. You have nothing to teach them. You are not more beautiful than they are. You are not wiser. Do not shout at them.
Leonard Cohen, “How to Speak Poetry”. I need to remind myself of this every time I preach, just before I step into the pulpit.
It certainly is the part of the Christian man to ascend higher than merely to seek and secure the salvation of his own soul.
Although not all have the office of preaching the word of God, yet a private person who is a member of the church may beget spiritual children to God if he has the occasion and ability to win a poor soul and enlighten him with the faith of the gospel.
But when most people see that God provides an opening for them and a way to instruct the uninformed, they will remain silent, keep their mouths shut, and not say a word… He will be guilty of other people’s sin because he had the means to admonish them and did not.
John Calvin, quoted in Engaging with Calvin (edited by Mark D. Thompson) pp. 36-37.
Click HERE to listen to an American missionary who has been such a blessing to many Filipinos.
Pastor Travis Moore was my Pastor at Open Door Baptist Church, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. He was mightily used by God here in Negros Occidental and elsewhere in the Philippines. Many of those whom he discipled are now pastors of churches, deacons, teachers at the Baptist Missionary Association of America and the Philippines Bible College (BMAAPBC) as well as leaders in their respective fields. I owe a lot to his ministry and was very much influenced and blessed by his dynamic and biblical preaching. I am glad that his sermons are now online.
C. S. Lewis once wrote that there are theologians in the bottom of hell who are more interested in their own thoughts about God than in God himself. For that reason it is important that a dogmatician should also preach regularly. He will then create a counterweight to his intellectual preoccupations.
– HENDRIKUS BERKHOF, Introduction to the Study of Dogmatics