Summary: This is not a PC sermon. There comes a point in the lives of believers when we must speak what God speaks regardless of the consequences. Micaiah did exactly that. He is a hero to us and an example to follow.
1. People Pleasing
The following is reported to be a true story regarding Berkley, CA:
In 1990, the Berkeley City Council passed a law changing the name of Columbus Day to Native American Day because Columbus wasn't nice to the Indians. Of course, no Native Americans were asked if they wanted the holiday's name changed or even if they wanted to be called Native Americans.
In 1991, a group of PCers argued that Indians are not native to America but to Asia, so calling them Native Americans might be insulting to Asians. So the Berkeley City Council changed the name, to "Indigenous People Day." Of course, neither the Indian nor the Asian communities were consulted about it.
In 1992, the Italian American Anti-Defamation League gave the City of Berkeley their Insensitivity Award. The Italian-American group said that they agreed that Indians haven't been treated well, but that the Italians weren't the ones who did it, so why take away their holiday? Nobody asked the Italian-American community at large how they felt about renaming Columbus Day.
In 1994, the Berkeley City Council finally changed the holiday back to "Columbus Day."
In 1995, representatives of the Winnamucca Indian Tribe protested at City Council meetings. They argued that Indians had never asked that Columbus Day be renamed to honor Indians, but since it had been, the City Council couldn't take it back, lest they become "indigenous-people-givers."
In 1996, the City Council again changed the name to "Indigenous Peoples/Columbus Day." It was felt that this name was a compromise which would end any and all protests from the diverse, interested parties.
You can't please everyone, can you? In fact, trying to do so will only frustrate you. I'm not saying we shouldn't give consideration to the desires of others, because we should. But, ultimately, in our Christian lives, we should seek to please only one person.
a. To compromise and be PC in our world -- all the adages: Just go with the flow (GWTF); Go along to get along; be flexible; roll with the punches
b. To be antagonistic
3. Yet, as believers we know that God is true and means what he says. When the choice comes to choosing God or choosing the times, we must choose God. Even if it means we go against the cultural norms.
4. "Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." -- William Penn
5. 2 Chronicles 18.1-16
a. The Kings
Israel in North -- Ahab (ungodly King)
Judah -- Jehoshaphat (godly King, son of Asa)
Asa turned the moral slide of Judah around -- removed high places; dethroned queen mother for worshiping asherah; exported male prostitutes of idolatry; passes on legacy to son who continues and strengthens the reform
Both had made alliances with pagan kings -- Jehoshaphat made one with Ahab via marriage -- 18.1-3
Ramoth Gilead was a strategic city on trade route to Damascus; Ahab wants military help
Israel and Judah -- similar in ancestry
Israel and Judah differed in spirituality -- so Jehoshaphat asks for confirmation in order to go into battle (good to see if God is for us) -- 18.4
Ahab gathers 400 puppet prophets who will say what the king wants to hear (18.5)
Jehoshaphat requests another prophet (18.6)
Spiritual discernment of Jehoshaphat
Is it possible for 400 to say they speak in the name of God but he has not spoken?
Two (or three) witnesses can make a truth -- here are 400
b. The Prophet Micaiah -- 18.7-13
Micaiah was told what to say -- he refused
The 400 were influenced by a lying spirit from God
Micaiah prophesies that Ahab will die in the battle
Ahab has him imprisoned because of the words he spoke against him
Go to war; Ahab disguises himself because of the prophecy of Micaiah -- a random arrow kills him
God protected Jehoshaphat
c. A matter of conviction
Convicts for Christ
When someone is convicted of a crime and sent to prison, he becomes a convict. Barring any judicial errors, a decision (conviction) has been reached that is unchangeable; the convict must serve the sentence.
A conviction can also be made at the personal level. We can convict ourselves to a permanent position regarding commitments, beliefs, and values. We can become a convict for Christ when we choose to follow Him permanently and irrevocably.
Jesus was a self-determined convict--a person with immovable convictions. He refused to give in to Satan's temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). And He lived as a servant to God the Father, refusing to give up His convictions even when it resulted in His physical death (Philippians 2:6-8). We are given that same choice (Luke 14:26-27).
It is better to die for a conviction than to live with a compromise. Vance Havner