So many times, we proclaim the necessity for the truth. We teach our children to “always tell the truth.” We hear it preached from the pulpits. We pass along such proverbs as “honesty is the best policy.” We proclaim the value of truth. Yet so many of us have kept silent when we should have spoken. So many of us have refused to speak truth when we knew no one really wanted to hear the truth.
Ahab, who was king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, who was king of Judah, were forming an alliance in order to go to war against Syria (1 Kings 22). Actually this was not a good idea in the first place for Jehoshaphat who had led his nation back to God. Ahab was an evil king who worshiped idols and listened to false prophets. So, at their meeting, Jehoshaphat requested guidance from the Lord as to whether or not they should go to war. Ahab brought in 400 prophets who (surprise) prophesied great success. Jehoshaphat, feeling somewhat uneasy, asked for a true prophet of the Lord. Ahab answered by saying, “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 prophecy good concerning me, but evil.” (1 Kings 22:8 )
Micaiah was brought before the kings. He had been told by the man who was sent for him that all the other prophets had told of a great success so he was to also speak the same thing. At first, he played along, just to reveal the silliness of the kings who seek prophecies only to confirm what they want to hear. Then, when pressed for the truth, he boldly spoke it, prophesying defeat for the kings and death for Ahab should they go to war. The kings decided that 400 prophets outweighed 1 so they went to war anyway. Thinking he could outsmart Micaiah’s prophecy. Ahab disguised himself but God’s word is always true. The kings were defeated and Ahab was killed.
In today’s culture, we hear that tolerance is the key. We are told we must tolerate everything and anything, except those who don’t do the same. People want their ears tickled and love to hear what they want to hear, but they find it difficult to listen to those who don’t agree with them. However, just because they won’t hear the truth doesn’t make it any less true. We must pursue truth. It may be difficult in today’s culture to speak truth but Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Pursuing truth means we are to embrace all people but not all beliefs. In this world full of lies, God needs people like Micaiah who will speak His truth boldly.