There are passages of Scripture in the Old Testament that relate to something going on in today's world; for instance, there is the story of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, partnering with the evil king of Israel, Ahab. The king of Israel wanted Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to join him in recapturing the city of Ramoth Gilead from Syria. But before entering into the partnership, Jehoshaphat wants to hear prophetically from God. We could learn much from Jehoshaphat's inquiry. How often do good leaders ally with those on the enemy's side? Godly leaders must seek first godly counsel.
Ahab turned to the fake news of the day; 400 prophets tuned into the spirit of the world. The four hundred prophets appeared before the kings, and all spoke the same thing: that the two kings should attack and would have victory. But Jehoshaphat was sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord and wouldn’t listen to the fake news of the day. He wanted to hear from someone spiritually tuned in to the Spirit of God. What does God want to do in the situation of our day? The prophet Micaiah was the only one around who was known as a true prophet, but there's a problem, he never prophesied anything good to the evil king, Ahab:
7But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” 8The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah” (1 Kings 22:7-8).
We live in a day similar to these two kings; the spirit of this evil world wants us to drink deeply at the well of the many news outlets of our day, the prophets of this world. Whatever the many before us say, we must look and listen as Jehoshaphat did, "Is there a prophet of the Lord" that we can hear? When Ahab's servants brought forth the true prophet of the Lord, Micaiah, he was intimidated by the servants of the evil king to say the same thing as the fake prophets were saying. He knew his life career and possibly his life was on the line by saying anything that went against the world's prophets.
Leaders in today's churches are intimidated by the many voices they hear in the news outlets. Many understand what God is doing but don't want to go against the spirit of the world. Jehoshaphat commanded Micaiah, the true prophet, only to speak what he knew God was saying:
16The 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?” 17Then 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.’” 18The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?” (1 Kings 22:16-18).
Micaiah prophesied an accurate word of God for that day. Ahab was defeated and lost his life in the battle at Ramoth Gilead. We live in a day of many false prophetic news outlets that daily scream at us to do what the spirit of the world wants us to do. But because many voices call the same thing, we must not be intimidated to act against the Spirit of God. We must hear from God in our day and have a sensitive ear to His voice. The Spirit of God rested on the good king Jehoshaphat, and he would not rest until he heard from God. The people of God would be wise to learn this lesson too. Keith Thomas