May 5 2015
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[ DATE : 2015-05-26 ]
   Stand Firm in the Truth   1 Kings 22:13-28
The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."
But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me."
When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'"
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"
Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left.
And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that.
Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
" 'By what means?' the LORD asked. " 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. " 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
"So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."
Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.
Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room."
The king of Israel then ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king's son
and say, 'This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.'"
Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®. COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Counting the Cost to Follow God (22:13–26)
The highlight of this passage is the faith of Micaiah in the face of opposition. Micaiah does not hesitate or stumble. He is resolute in being faithful to God and His Word no matter the cost—even if it means losing his life. Micaiah’s faith, boldness, and ultimate imprisonment are a foreshadowing of the person, life, and work of Jesus Christ. Like Micaiah, Jesus spoke authoritative words from the Father (John 14:10). Like Micaiah, Jesus was accused of being a false prophet, wrongly imprisoned, and mocked and slapped (Luke 22:63–65). Like Micaiah, Jesus did not retaliate and even prayed for those who hurt and ultimately kill Him. Jesus, the greater Micaiah, stood firm in the truth and had victory over sin, death, and Satan.

Like Micaiah and Jesus, we are called to uphold and to stand firm in the truth—no matter what our family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers may say or do. Have you counted the cost?

Ignoring God to Follow Sin (22:27–28)
If Micaiah’s faith is the highlight of the passage, then Ahab’s stubbornness is the low point. Instead of listening to God’s warning through Micaiah, he listens to his pride. When Ahab tells his men to take Micaiah to prison until he returns “safely,” Ahab is not simply expecting to come back safely whether he wins or loses. The word that is translated “safely” is shalom, which also means peace, wholeness, and prosperity. In other words, Ahab is expecting to win the battle! The warning God gives to Ahab through Micaiah is the third one he has received (which shows us just how merciful God is). Unfortunately, Ahab, blinded by his sin, is about to strike out.

Before God judges someone, He gives him or her numerous opportunities to repent. Are you ignoring the opportunities that God has given for repentance? Pray that you would heed God’s warnings.
Holy Spirit, thank you for giving me the faith to understand and believe in the truth. There are many temptations, and the enemy assails me constantly. Please give me the courage and strength to stand firm, and a loving, godly community to walk with me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.