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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Truth changes not

I was reading the 22nd chapter of Kings and the thought struck me that this is a great illustration of how the truth does not change to fit circumstances. King Ahab of Israel decided to take Ramoth-gilead back from the Syrians and invited Jehoshaphat King of Judah to go with him. All Ahab's prophets prophesied a victory, but Jehoshaphat was suspicious, calling for an opinion from a "prophet of the Lord". One was available -- Micaiah -- but Ahab didn't like the fact that he usually prophesied something negative concerning him. But Micaiah was called and he prophesied the truth -- that Ahab would not return from the battle alive.

King Ahab only wanted to hear something good, but that did not change the truth. "And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil."

Four hundred prophets spoke the opposite, but that did not change the truth. "Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king."

Zedekiah dramatically illustrated Ahab's victory, but that did not change the truth. "And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them."

Micaiah was struck on the face, but that did not change the truth. "Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself."

Micaiah was thrown in jail, but that did not change the truth. "And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me."

Good king Jehoshapahat went to the battle with Ahab, but that did not change the truth. "So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead."

Ahab disguised himself to not appear to be a king, but that did not change the truth. "And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle." (about here I want to ask Jehoshaphat, "Just how stupid are you?" but the question often comes ringing back to me, "Just how stupid are you?")

Some Syrian archer was just shooting arrows in his simplicity, but that did not change the truth. "And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot."

Delay of time does not change the truth. Not only must we consider Micaiah's prophecy, but also Elijah's. Some three or more years before he had told Ahab, "Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine." So when the battle was over and Ahab was dead, "...one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake."

Psalm 117:2b - "...the truth of the LORD endureth for ever."

1 comment:

Dr. Edwin F. Fountain said...

Dear Robert,
It touched one major point for me as a minister. We do have to study to know the content of the book for otherwise we would be chasing bunny trails and false trails through scripture everytime we tried to do a sermon. For we do need to be able to see where one portion of scripture touches on another or one incident have an impact on another. Throughout the scripture one portions whispers or calls out to another and we need to hear in order to teach.
Edwin Fountain