Whose Voice Are You Willing to Listen to?
February 19, 2023
Whose Voice Are You Willing to Listen to?
When God speaks to us, do we tend to have a biased ear to what we want to hear from Him instead of what we need to hear?
Do we turn a blind eye to uncomfortable truths God is trying to get through to us?
Today we will be unpacking 2 Chronicles 18 and ask ourselves: “Do we have some of the characteristics of the people portrayed in this chapter such as: Jehoshaphat, Ahab, the 400 Baal prophets, and Micaiah.” Let’s take a look.
2 Chronicles 18 tells a story of Jehoshaphat, a good king and follower of Yahweh reigning over the southern kingdom of Judah. Ahab was the evil ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel. During the first part of the chapter, Ahab was trying to entice Jehoshaphat to join forces with him in attacking Ramoth-gilead.
At this point, Jehoshaphat had already developed a close relationship with this evil king named Ahab to the point that there was no question that he would join him but he wanted to consult God first. 2 Chron. 18:3-4 “Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one, and my troops are your troops. We will certainly join you in battle. Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the LORD says.”
Jehoshaphat’s alignment with Ahab. Could we be Jehoshaphat in this story?
LASB notes about Jehoshaphat: Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah, the southern kingdom, who was deeply committed to God, but he arranged for his son to marry Athaliah, the daughter of wicked King Ahab of Israel, and then made a military alliance with him.Jehoshaphat’s popularity and power made him attractive to the cunning and opportunistic Ahab.
This alliance had three devastating consequences:
1. Incurred God’s anger (19:2) “… Because of what you have done, the Lord is very angry with you.”
2. Nearly destroyed all of David’s descendants (vs.22:10-12)
3. Brought the evil practices of Israel into Judah, which eventually led to the nation’s downfall.
The Bible often warns against teaming up with unbelievers in 2 Cor. 6:14 “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”
LASB: Paul urges believers to not team up with those who are unbelievers,” that is, to form binding partnerships or relationships with unbelievers because this might weaken their Christian commitment, integrity, or standards. It would be a mismatch.
Leadership in your home: Mom and Dad, you are the King and Queen of your home. People or habits you are teaming up with could bring things into your home (spirits) that could potentially destroy your family!
Have we become like Jehoshaphat? Have we started out our walk with Jesus very passionate, extremely committed, but over time, little by little, we’ve compromised our core beliefs and convictions to either appease our flesh or blend in with the culture around us?
For some of us, we know what we’re doing is sinful and wrong, but we just want to take the road with least resistance in life. Sometimes doing the right thing is going to be hard.
Why was Jehoshaphat aligning with a wicked king like Ahab in the first place? When we align ourselves with people that are openly against God, whether it be friendships, business deals, etc. we will see ourselves slowly start to compromise, just like Jehoshaphat did.
Little decisions of compromise can slowly erode and destroy the blessings of God in our lives such as relationships, family members, your own ministry, and job opportunities.
Satan always goes for the jugular, which is our character. What is your character? It’s the true you when no one is looking. If he can get our character compromised, he’ll destroy us from the inside out and eventually do so in every area of our lives.
The song It’s a Slow Fade by Casting Crowns talks about how sin and compromise come in. It starts with just a little compromise here and there, then eventually, your life crumbles and you wonder how you got there. It’s a slow, and sometimes unnoticed fade.
The enemy is all about destroying your “kingdom”, everything you’ve built, everything you’ve put your hard-earned effort and work into, just like he was all about destroying Jehoshaphat’s kingdom. And eventually he succeeded.
If Jehoshaphat could only see the end at the beginning, he would have never aligned himself with Ahab’s family.
2 Chronicles 22:10 “When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah (Jehoshaphat’s grandson) of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family. ”
Jehoshaphat’s compromise led to a lot of destruction in his kingdom. If compromise and evil was not let in by his decisions to align himself with Ahab, his kingdom would not have fallen.
Can you see areas of your life where you’ve let Satan in through compromise? Has it benefited your life in any way?
The greater part of what we lend our ears to, we will follow. Could we be Ahab in this story?
2 Chronicles 18:5 summary: Ahab summoned 400 Baal prophets asking if he should go to war against Ramoth-gilead and all of them were saying to go ahead, God would give him victory.
The servants of Baal were instructed to side with whatever King Ahab wanted to hear.
Ahab had 400 false prophets speaking into his ear, all who were trained to agree with whatever he was wanting to do, and only one true prophet from Yahweh named Micaiah.
Jehoshaphat did not want to consult the prophets of Baal because he knew that the truth was not in them so he asked Ahab in verse 6 if there was anyone else to consult the Lord“… ‘Is there not also a prophet of the LORD here? We should ask him the same question.” The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the LORD for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.” Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.” So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Quick! Bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”
While they went to get Micaiah, one of the Baal prophets Zedekiah told Him in vs 10-12 that he would gore the Arameans to death, and all the prophets agreed.
Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, ‘Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.’”
Are you willing to bend the truth or compromise your ways, so that you don’t have to face being the odd one out?
Micaiah was outnumbered 400 to 1. Are you the only one in your family, job, group of friends that actually stands up for truth and holds to your convictions?
Vs.13-15 “But Micaiah replied, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, I will say only what my God says.’
Micaiah warned Ahab that he would die if he attacked Ramoth-gilead in verses 18-27. Ahab refused to listen and went to war anyway. Everything played out exactly like Micaiah said, and he was killed in vs 34.
Even though Ahab was one of the most evil kings Israel ever had, he could never say that God never extended His love to warn him to repent from his ways and come back to Him.
God gave him a Micaiah, a messenger of truth in his life, but he wasted it because he simply didn’t want to hear it.
Has God spoken some hard things to you that you didn’t really want to accept? Have you had a rebellious and stubborn heart?
Has He sent you a Micaiah (a pastor, friend, coworker, a family member) to speak truth in your life, and maybe you’ve ignored them?
If we choose to ignore those people God has placed in our lives, we become just like Ahab in this story and the consequences of not listening to these people could be deadly.
Are we willing to let go of our heritage, our racial biases, and go against the culture of our upbringing to listen to the truth of what God is trying to get across to us?
Ahab’s heart had become so calloused to the voice of God that he didn’t even recognize when he was being lied to and when the truth was being spoken to him. Why? Because the majority of people speaking into his life were liars and just wanted a paycheck from him. They were using him!
Whoever you surround yourself with, you’ll bend your ear to.
The question is: Do we have “yes” men or women around us speaking into our lives, or do we have people who will tell us the raw truth?
Could we be “Yes” Men, the prophets of Baal in this story?
Could we be the Baal prophets in this story? Do we always say “yes” to everything that’s being thrown at us because we’re afraid of speaking up for the truth and our convictions?
Are we simply too lazy to go to God about it because we know what He’s going to say, and we just don’t want to hear it because our flesh wants it so badly?
Tim Ross said “You can’t really say you love somebody until you can risk offending them with the truth. Tell me the truth even if it hurts to hear it, tell me the truth even if it disappoints me, tell me the truth even if it breaks my heart. Just tell me the truth!”
That’s a true Micaiah.
On our job, are we getting paid to lie, and we just love that paycheck just like those 400 prophets did?
Has God been trying to speak through you in your relationships with others but you’ve been too afraid to speak up due to the possibility of losing that person in your life?
That relationship, your place of employment, your family, doesn’t need another Baal prophet!! They don’t need another “yes” person. They need to hear the words of truth in their life. They need a Miciah!
You may be the only Miciah they ever hear!
- Evaluate the people you align yourself with or things you do. Do they bring blessings or destruction? Could you be a Jehoshaphat in this story?
- Evaluate the people that influence you. Do you have someone who is speaking honest truth into your life, or just what you want to hear? What is the majority of influence in your life? Truth or lies?
- Evaluate your own personal life in the context of sticking to your convictions and standing for what you believe. Are you compromising in areas of your life you never thought you would? There’s hope in Jesus to make everything right.