Man Up: Micaiah the Prophet
In 2 Kings 22, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, inquires of the king of Israel, King Ahab, about retaking of Ramoth Gilead from Aram, who had been in possession of this city for three years. Now the kings were looking for advice from prophets to consider; whether or not they would be successful. Jehoshaphat seeks out the last remaining prophet, Micaiah son of Imlah. In his fear, Micaiah at first replies to King Ahab falsely, when asked to predict the outcome of a skirmish at Ramoth Gilead. Micaiah feared his life, and all the other prophets in Israel had prophesied victory.
The 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?””
Micaiah was in a place where his faith counted. He knew what he had to do and say; to prophesy against the two kings. But he fell apart in his fear. Lucky for him, he was apparently a bad liar, because the king responded this way, obviously seeing through Micaiah’s lie. Micaiah just didn’t have the mocho to stand up to these kings. He needed to man up.
In the book of Job, a young man by the name of Elihu basically preaches his own incorrect philosophy on God, when suddenly, the Lord himself appears in a huge storm, saying to him,
Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”
My favorite example of “darkening counsel” is probably Wormtongue, from the Lord of the Rings. (Yeah, I had to tie something geeky in sometime, didn’t I?) Wormtongue is a servant of Saruman, and also the ‘advisor’ of Theoden, king of Rohan. In reality, King Theoden has given up. Wormtongue has practical control over all of Rohan, for he bends the king to his will.
All of us have close advisors, too. They’re also known as friends. Friends are great, and they always listen to you. They may even give you advice in tough times. Nevertheless, our friends are as flawed as us, and the only true counsel comes from God.
Micaiah had the right counsel, but he missed the other part. God calls us to not only be wary in counsel, instead of just talking about whatever we think sounds right, but he also calls us to man up; to use that counsel.
Sadly for both Judah and Israel, the two kings didn’t man up at all. Jehoshaphat and Ahab went into battle with the Arameans, and not too surprisingly, they lost. Sometimes it seems difficult, radical, and maybe even a bit crazy, but God calls us to man up and listen to the only true counsel: His own.