Michaiah’s stand for Truth

This weekend I was reminded of the story of Michaiah. You might not recall his name, but he was a peculiar prophet in the time of wicked Ahab, king of Israel. His story is only one chapter long in 2 Chronicles 18, but it is timeless to those who stand for truth.

During the time of the divided kingdom, an alliance was struck between Ahab, king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah. Ahab called for Jehoshaphat’s help to fight against the Arameans. Being a righteous king, Jehoshaphat asked Ahab to first inquire for the word of the Lord. So Ahab assembled prophets – four hundred prophets. Their word of prophecy to Ahab was, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king” (verse 5).

And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans, until they are consumed.'”
And all the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” (2 Chr. 18:10-11)

But Jehoshaphat found the gathering short on credibility: “Is there not yet a prophet from the Lord here that we may inquire of him?” (verse 6). Ahab answered, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil. He is Micaiah, son of Imla” (verse 7). Curiously, both kings acknowledge that a prophet of the Lord was not present, even though these prophets were claiming to speak on behalf of Yahweh (Lord).

What a scene! False prophets dancing around with iron horns cheering, “You’re going to gore those Arameans! Look at my horns, my King!” The chorus of four hundred false prophets declaring that Yahweh would give victory to their favorite king, “You’re number one! Go King!” And Ahab sulking, “I hate Michaiah. He’s always so mean, never prophesying anything good about me.” And no wonder, this was Ahab, enemy of Elijah, Elisha, and most importantly, God: “Thus Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” (1 Kings 16:33).

As children of light living in a dark world, we will soon realize that truth cannot be determined by consensus. The majority opinion is not always God’s opinion. Every generation needs a few men and women who will speak the truth in love, even when it is very unpopular to do so. Check back for the rest of the story of Michaiah:

Lie #1: If enough people say it, it must be right.
Truth is not determined by opinion poll, popularity, or prominence:

But even though we or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. – Galatians 1:8

Lie #2: Truth is in the eye of the beholder.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder since aesthetic appreciation is naturally subjective. But God’s truth is objective, knowable, comprehensible, and accurate:

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. – 2 Peter 1:20-21