One of the most interesting stories in the entire Bible is found in 2 Chronicles 18. It’s a story of two kings (Jehoshaphat and Ahab) attempting to discern the will of the LORD regarding a battle they may fight together. After all of the prophets tell the kings to go and fight, Jehoshaphat asks if there is prophet of the LORD. (Apparently, the other “prophets” weren’t prophets of the true God). Ahab identified one such prophet, Micaiah, but added, “I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil.” So, they summon Micaiah to come and prophesy for them.
As he is on his way, Micaiah is told of the words of the prophets, that they all have counseled him to go to war. He is encouraged to sing the same tune before the king. I love his response, “As the LORD lives, what my God says, that I will speak” (2 Chronicles 18:13). Such ought to be the perspective of every man of God. Pastors are called to speak what God says.
In every age there have been those who seek to put forth their own ideas, rather than speaking what God says. This is because there have been those in every age who want “to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21). In every age, there are those who want nothing more than having their ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3). There will always be “pastors” willing to fulfill this role.
The role of speaking what God says may be costly.
Back to Micaiah. When he entered the presence of the kings, he initially told the kings to go and fight. But Ahab, detecting that Micaiah wasn’t being up front with them demanded, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” So, Micaiah went on to prophesy defeat. Humorously, we read Ahab complaining, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
Micaiah went on to prophesy that Ahab would be killed in battle. Ahab ordered that Micaiah be thrown in prison and given minimal rations until he returns (and thereby proves Micaiah to be wrong). Micaiah responds, “If you indeed return safely, the LORD has not spoken by me.” Ahab increased the drama by pleading to everyone around, “Listen, all you people.”
God stood by Micaiah’s words. Ahab was killed by “a certain man [who] drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor.” He died and never returned, thereby proving Micaiah to be a true prophet who spoke what God says. It may be hard, but in the end, it is really the only way.