1 Kings 22:8(b) “…but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.”

Observation: Ahab, king of Israel, was preparing to war when an allied king, Jehoshaphat, encouraged Ahab to first seek God’s counsel. Ahab maintained a stable of four hundred false prophets who assured Ahab of the campaign’s success, but Jehoshaphat pressed, asking if there was “a prophet of the Lord” (v7) we could inquire of. Ahab declared his hatred of the Lord’s true prophet, Micaiah, because his prophesies were always, in Ahab’s view, bad.

Application: Here we have the sad picture of an Israeli king blissfully unaware that he was about to meet his doom. He had purposely surrounded himself with four hundred “yes” men. Micaiah was the true prophet, but Ahab hated his counsel because Micaiah was unfailingly honest, never sugar-coating his response.

Micaiah described an astonishing scene around the heavenly throne where the Lord assembled all the host of heaven to ask, “Who will entice Ahab into attacking…and going to his death there?” (v20) When a spirit volunteered for the task, God said, simply, “Go and do it.” (v22)

Should I think Ahab stupid for proceeding? I can anticipate the end of the story without further reading. If that be so, then why am I so eerily like Ahab, surrounding myself with approving friends, business associates and employees who readily urge me on? How shall the small voice of the Holy Spirit be heard amidst life’s cacophony?

Notice this: even the godly king Jehoshaphat who asked Ahab to consult God’s true prophet, remained silent in the face of Ahab’s obstinate determination to have his own way. How easy it is to think I am following God’s will when I have heard neither His counsel, nor the honest feedback of godly friends and mentors.

My problem is, I can believe that since I am surrounded by godly colleagues, they have heard from the Lord in my behalf and have spoken truth into my life when in fact, I have not even asked. In reality, their forward progress with me may result simply from warm association, a sort of inertia toward my destruction.   It is God’s view alone that I must hear and heed, regardless of the pressure to do otherwise.

Prayer: Father, how easily I can be lulled into equating the comforting presence of Christian friends with Your approval. Cause me to seek Your counsel above all others.