Micaiah Speaks The Truth
By sis Jacqueline Wee
Do you know of anyone who is hated by his boss, colleague, schoolmate, or friends? – They hated him because he never said anything that they wanted to hear. What’s worse is that this person cannot leave his current engagement because he needs to do what he knows he must do. Despite his colleagues advising him to "agree and concur with the majority" to avoid unnecessary conflicts, as "the boss cannot be provoked further today," he simply replies, "I’ll say what I need to say.”
How does it feel to work with someone who puts on a front and is untrue to a cause to have the majority swayed to his/her ways?
Or what options do you give yourself when telling the truth may result in humiliation, loss of relationships, the label "difficult to work with," or even health risks? Will you lose your motivation to perform at work when your employer makes it explicit to your co-workers that he or she hates you and never thought that you were credible, to begin with?
If you are or know of anyone suffering from the same plight, you are not alone because the bible says "there is nothing new under the sun" – Ecc 1:9. Meet Micaiah, the prophet of the Lord, serving Ahab, the King of Israel in 1 Kings 22.
The account in 1 Kings 22 begins with King Ahab of Israel seeking alliance with King Jehoshaphat of Judah to do battle with the Syrians at Ramoth Gilead. King Jehoshaphat was prudent enough to propose to King Ahab that they seek God in the matter. When Ahab gathered the prophets, they were not faithful prophets of God. These were prophets who were happy to please their kings, ready to tell them what they wanted to hear. When the king of Israel gathered the prophets together and asked them, "Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?" The prophets echoed, all 400 of them, "Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king."
Somehow, King Jehoshaphat was unconvinced and still wanted to hear from another prophet, so he inquired if there were any prophets they had missed out. King Ahab’s answer was, "There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." Micaiah, for his steadfast devotion to God's word, was dubbed "the loathsome talebearer." Micaiah probably executed his job the best among others in his field and was not only unappreciated, but also detested by his master.
Nevertheless, the prophet Micaiah was sent. On the way to meet the two kings, he was forewarned by the messenger, "Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Please, let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement." So far, no one has offered differing views. Therefore, you can just imagine the pressure on Micaiah to concur so as to make his life easier. However, Micaiah answered and said: "As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak." Is this not what like-minded apostle Paul said in Gal 1:10 "For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."
The meeting with the two kings did not go well at all. When King Ahab heard from the prophet Micaiah, he said to King Jehoshaphat "Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?" That must have been quite testing for Micaiah. King Ahab demanded the truth from him, but he could not handle the truth. He knew Micaiah was the only faithful prophet who would speak God’s will, but he misconstrued the truth with opposition. King Ahab’s real conflict was not with Micaiah but with God, and he took it out on Micaiah.
One false prophet among the crowd then went near and struck Micaiah on the cheek when Micaiah went on to expose the false prophets. What does one usually do when his true colours get exposed? Some may resort to violence or discredit the plaintiff. King Ahab went on to throw Micaiah into prison and instructed them to deprive him of food and water. Micaiah further aggravated the king and said, "If you ever return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me. Take heed, all you people!"
The epitome of an apostle to me is probably to "speak the truth at all costs" and to "stand up for it, defend it, and protect it, just as you would stand up to protect someone you love."
Many times, I've succumbed to my lack of courage, either by compromising or excusing myself with "this is not the right time." But every time that I fail to step up, I find myself two steps behind. It gets harder when I don’t bring myself to take a firm stand or stand ambivalent on things that matter to God because it gets more challenging for the same person I am trying to reach out to, to be receptive and to be convinced because the fervor for the truth wasn’t apparent in me earlier to begin with. For all the opportunities that I "pass," I’ll choose a different time, and for all the times that I dilute the gravity of the truth, I regret later never having had the opportunity to say what I know God wants me to say. Every time we "pass," that treasure never becomes ours.