Summary: Micaiah was a prophet who was willing to take his stand for God’s truth, even when 400 prophets were willing to "SPIN" the truth to agree with the king.
Micaiah- Speaking God’s Truth Without Spin
Pastor Pete Amerman- Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church
Succasunna, NJ July 3, 2005
Ephesians 4:25- “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor...”
Continuing our series on Unknown Faces from the Bible, remember that there are unknown characters in the Bible whose names and faces we may not recognize, but whose stories are significant in God’s plan and purpose in history. Today, we will look at a man named Micaiah, a prophet who stood alone and spoke the truth when the majority of the king’s advisors were presenting what we now call “SPIN”.
A major company was looking for a new Marketing Director. After much advertising and many applications, three candidates entered the final selection process.
The first one in for the final interview was asked him a simple question: “What is 2+2?” He was surprised, thought about it for a bit, wondered if it might be a trick question and then simply answered 4. The Managing Director looked at the Board, shook his head and thanked him for coming, but he wasn’t the candidate they were looking for.
The next one in was again asked this simple question: “What is 2+2?” He paused, thought about it for a bit and then replied that statistically it was a number between 3 and 5. The Managing Director smiled and Board was quite impressed. The candidate was thanked and ushered out.
The last candidate was also asked the simple question: What is 2+2. Without batting an eyelid he replied: “What do you want it to be?” And he was hired on the spot.
We have a word for this “fudging the truth”, this inclination to make truth what you want it to be- we call it, “SPIN”. "SPIN" was originally an acronym, "Significant Progress In the News." “SPIN” refers to the highly manipulative tactics used to sway audiences away from a true presentation of the facts. The techniques of SPIN include:
--Selectively presenting only the evidence that supports one’s position
--Non-denial denials OR non-affirming affirmations
--Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths
--Euphemisms to disguise one’s real agenda
--Disguising bad news by placing it on the back of more important or more favorable news.
Skilled practitioners of SPIN are sometimes called "spin doctors". We have another name for them- we call them, “politicians”.
The danger of SPIN is that it can serve to make the audience quite content with the illusion of truth rather than the reality of truth. Unfortunately, in our culture, many seem to be content to live with illusions and SPIN rather than with the truth. David Wells in his book, “Losing Our Virtues” observes, "This is the first time a civilization has existed that, to a significant extent, does not believe in objective right or wrong." In other words, when we lose any objective measure of what is right or wrong, true of false, we are far more vulnerable to give and receive “SPIN” rather than truth. We are far more likely to make truth “what you want it to be” rather than what it is.
SPIN is nothing new. In 1 Kings 22, there was a King named King Ahab, a king of Israel who was described as “doing more evil than all the kings who went before him.” (1 Kings 16:30) Notice how the story begins- vs. 1- Israel had a period of peace for 3 years. They were not attacked; they were not provoked into battle. But, rather than rejoicing over the abundance of the land that the Lord had given to the people of Israel, King Ahab became discontent that there was a little corner of land, Ramoth-Gilead, that they did not have. This tract of land was a thorn in his side. Ahab was not called upon by God to possess this land; rather, it was his own idea, prompted by his own selfishness.
Vs. 4- Ahab met with the king of Judah, King Jehoshaphat. He asked him to join him in this campaign. Fortunately, his friend said to him, vs. 5- “First seek the counsel of the Lord”.
Here’s where the “SPIN” comes in. There is a great struggle between King Ahab and the prophet, Micaiah (and in a greater way, between “SPIN” and God’s truth). God’s truth was available to the king and to the people of Israel. God’s truth was presented to the king and to the people. And, God’s truth was presented to protect the king and the people of Israel. But, they were not ready to receive it. The same thing happens to you and me sometimes. God’s truth is available to us, it is presented to us, and it is sent to protect us, but we are not ready to receive it. So, what do we do? We SPIN God’s truth rather than receive it. In 1 Kings 22, we see at least 4 ways that people use to “SPIN” God’s truth rather than receive it: