Scripture – But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 (ESV)
Observation – Ahab was a passive man and a weak leader. He married a domineering, aggressive, Baal worshipping pagan in Jezebel. It was a marriage tragedy on several levels. What makes Ahab’s story even more tragic are the seven hundred false prophets, the veritable “yes” men Ahab has surrounded himself with. These “prophets” are in effect useless, even harmful, advisors. They tell Ahab only what he wants to hear, which in the end leads to his providential demise.
Micaiah on the other hand prophesies truth to Ahab and is thus “hated” for it (1 Kings 22:8).
Application – We are told in Scripture that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jer. 17:9) We have a deep seeded problem of the heart. The Good News is God’s solution for the heart.
God has given us two primary safeguards against our deceitful and wandering heart.
1. The presence of Christ in us, aka the Holy Spirit. Is the Holy Spirit acting as a safeguard in my life? I measure this by the time between sin and conviction. Of course when conviction comes between the conception and birth of sin, all the better! Bottom line – am I being made progressively more aware of the real condition of my heart?
2. The practical presence of the “Body of Christ”, aka the fellowship of believers. Am I surrounded by “true” friends or “false” friends; those who will speak the truth in love, or those who love the relationship more than they love me? Are my friends encouraging me and challenging me to live according to the faith? Or do they watch in passive silence, playing Adam in the garden, as I taste forbidden fruit?
Without the presence of “Christ in me” and without the “true” fellowship of “true” friends I would do well to be concerned about the direction of my life. If I voluntarily remove or passively fail to put in place the safeguards God has provided for me as a NT believer, I have in effect traded in the Good News benefits for a watered down version of Christianity that is without power or protection.
Ahab grieved God by ignoring His commands and statutes. Ahab surrounded himself with “yes” men and “hated” the one who spoke truth. Lord please don’t let me fall into the path of Ahab!
Prayer – Lord I have a deceitful and wandering heart, I need safeguards in my life. You have provided them, may I embrace them and live under their protection. Lord give me true friends, men and women who love You and abide in You, may they have a love for me that is willing to risk friendship for my ultimate good. Lord, I pray I would recognize that You are the source of truth in my life, may I continually draw near to You, may I be obedient and not grieve the Holy Spirit in me. Reveal to me the true condition of my heart according to Your grace. Lord, thank You that You’ve given me all the safeguards I need to live worthy of the name Christian. Help me do so, Amen.