Text: Gal. 4:16, 1 Kings 22:1 – 28
By: Idogar, Charles
In Galatians 4:16, Paul had a case of faltering Friendship. The warm and tender love which once bound Paul and the Galatians together had dissipated.
Paul had become the Galatians’ enemy by telling them the truth. Here is a true irony.
Paul had been warmly received because of the truth; now he is given the cold shoulder because of the truth.
Let us lay a striking resemblance to this in the Old Testament, in 1 Kings 22:1 – 28.
This true story unfolds as Israel had been divided into two nations as a result of civil war following the death of Solomon—with the northern ten tribes known as Israel and the southern two tribes known as Judah.
Ahab was the King of Israel at the time. But the king of Judah who reigned with Ahab in Israel was one of the few good kings, a man named Jehoshaphat.
King Ahab sought to take over the land of Ramoth Gilead from the Syrians, and he pledges alliance with Jehoshaphat. But Jehoshaphat insisted that they require of the Lord.
So, Ahab summoned 400 prophets to hear what the Lord’s will was.
In answer to Ahab’s request for confirmation from the Lord as to whether to go up to battle, these prophets respond with enthusiasm, “Go for it, Ahab. The Lord will give you victory.”
But Jehoshaphat expresses some lingering doubts, as he timidly asks, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here whom we may inquire of?”
- Kings sometimes wrap themselves in a circle of yes-sayers – the king’s political cabinet, the king’s court priests and hand-selected prophets.
- Ahab had 400 prophets to his disposal who were ready to hide the truth just to be in the favour of the king. They are Yes-Sayers!
- The kind of people leaders surround themselves with is a matter of concern.
- If they don’t prick your heart once in a while, then maybe you have yourselves a brood of Yes-sayers.
- Some people can lick your feet for a living. They are not true friends. True friends say the truth and correct even when it is not pleasant. 27:6, Job 17:5
- Who are your friends? Who are your circle of wisdom?
- Sometimes a friend just wants to hear a lie. Sometimes a friend even just wants to hear a lie about salvation.
- I wish our circle of wisdom were like doctors. Doctors tell you your bad condition even though you only wish to hear “you are okay”. 17:17
- We are afraid of becoming enemies to people; but Paul wasn’t afraid of that.
THOSE WHO STAND FOR THE TRUTH
- Only Micaiah at the time, could be banked on to say nothing but the truth.
- It would be a shame if men of truth would be scarce in the house of God.
- A whole 400 prophets hid the truth from the two kings.
- Certain things can hinder men to stand for the truth such as, too much gap in relationships and too much closeness in relationships.
- It is not easy to tell a close friend that he or she is erring.
- Those who stand for the truth must have reputation. it’s one thing to have a good reputation among your friends and fellow church members. It’s another thing to have the same among your enemies.
- Ahab said of Micaiah, “I hate him because he never says anything good about me.” In other words, “I hate him because he always tells the truth.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM PREACHERS?
- In 1Kings 22:13-14 Micaiah said “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.”
- Micaiah was not a prophet for hire.
- Do you want preachers who would tell you the kind of truth you want or the God’s truth?
- Micaiah was God’s man.
- Ahab seemed to think Prophets could determine how the truth would look like. No. They speak the truth as it is!
- Not every man of God will be loved.
- A man does not have to get to the pulpit to teach false doctrine to lead people to apostasy. He only has to not declare the whole counsel of God.
There are penalties to pay when we speak the truth. Zedekiah, the leader of the 400 prophets slapped Micaiah because of his prophecy; because he spoke the truth.
Even Micaiah was also imprisoned again. Paul was on the verge of loosing his relationship with the Galatians. But our guide should be speaking the truth in love; humility, and goodwill.
There are people who are in error like the Galatians, but we are silent on bringing them to light.
There are people who need to hear about the reality of their sinful lives, but we pat them on the back and say “ride on”. Let these words guide us:
(a) It may not be pleasant, but I will say it.
(b) It may not be pleasing, but I will say it.
(c) It may not be profitable, but I must say it.
May God help us to stand and speak the truth always in Jesus name. Amen.