No News Is NOT Good News.
“The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, ‘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.” – 1 Kings 2:8 NLT
I don’t know of anybody who ever named their son after Micaiah, but I think it would be a great name for any boy to have. I’m not quite sure how to pronounce it or what it means, but I know what he stood for: God and the truth. Even against the most powerful man in Israel at the time, this obscure, little know prophet was willing to speak the truth of God, even when he was the odd-man out. I just love this guy’s unbridled devotion to God and his willingness to stand up for God regardless the cost. More than 400 other “prophets” had given King Ahab the news he wanted to hear: If he went up against the Arameans in battle, he would easily win. The Lord would give him victory. But Micaiah had a slightly different take on how things were going to turn out for Ahab and the Israelites.His news was not going to be what Ahab wanted to hear.
I also love the fact that Micaiah had a sarcastic sense of humor. He was a prophet of God, but he wasn’t afraid to drop a little sarcasm on the king when the opportunity presented itself. When he was brought before king Ahab to give his prediction of the battle’s outcome, Micaiah replied, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!” (1 Kings 22:15 NLT). That is exactly what Ahab wanted to hear, but he knew that Micaiah wasn’t telling him the truth. Why? Because as Ahab irritatingly told Jehoshphat, “He never prophesies anything but trouble for me” (1 Kings 22:18 NLT). Micaiah ultimately told Ahab the truth – that he would lose his battle against the Arameans and, not only that, he would die. God was going to pay Ahab back for all his wickedness and his lifelong love affair with rebellion. Rather than listen to the prophet of God, Ahab chose to listen to the false prophets who were more than willing to tell him what he wanted to hear. Their news was good news. He wanted God to bless what he was doing. He wanted God to conform to his will. It reminds me of the warning Paul gave Timothy: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT). Had Ahab listened to the Word of God delivered to him by the prophet of God, he would have survived this battle. But what God had to say was hard. It was difficult to accept. It would require Ahab to die to his own will and submit to God’s.
So the king died. That’s how Ahab’s story ends. Tragic and sad. He had rejected the Word of God and suffered the consequences. He had refused the will of God and died seeking his own. God had spoken, but Ahab refused to listen. He rejected the good news for a false and more flattering version. And millions of individuals have repeated that same sad mistake ever since. But as followers of Christ, we can also refuse to heed the Word of God. We can ignore it. We can reject it. We can refuse to obey it. There will always be plenty of those willing to tell us what we WANT to hear. They’ll tickle our ears. They’ll tell us everything is fine. They’ll paint a rosy picture of life. They’ll refuse to preach the full counsel of God. But as children of God, we should long to hear the unfiltered, unadulterated Word of God. Not a watered down, sweetened up, pasteurized, homogenized, and palatable version that makes us feel good about ourselves and justifies our sins. No news is NOT good news. Are you willing to hear from God and accept His Word as the final word? Seek it. Listen to it. Obey it.
Father, I can be just as guilty as Ahab of seeking to hear only what I want to hear. I can cherry-pick the Scriptures, looking for passages that justify my actions and assuage my guilt. Give me a listening ear and a soft heart that is ready to hear what You have to say and do what You tell me to do. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men