Summary: Ahab only wanted to hear positive prophecies but we can’t always hear only what we want to. We must hear the whole counsel of God even when it isn’t pleasant to the ears.
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Pastor James May
1 Kings 22:13-18, "And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak. So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD? And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?"
One problem that plagues the church of our day is the plague of “Selective Hearing”. In other words, we hear only that part of a message that agrees with our own point of view and we discard anything that doesn’t agree with us.
I have often run into this attitude in counseling sessions. I know that the first duty, and probably the most important thing that we can do as a counselor is to just sit and listen as those who come for counseling sit and vent their feelings, frustrations and anger. Most often people who want to counsel really don’t want to hear the truth, or to even hear the counselor’s opinion, they just want to talk to someone who will listen and that’s all they want.
This is the story of Ahab, King of Israel, who persuades Jehoshaphat, King of Judah to join him in a battle for Ramoth-Gilead. Syria had won this territory from Israel in a battle some three years prior and had occupied it for all that time. Now Ahab wanted it back.
Ahab was the most evil king that Israel ever had. In the beginning of I Kings chapter 21 we can read the story of how that he wanted to purchase or trade a vineyard from Nabaoth that was adjacent to the king’s palace. When Nabaoth refused to trade or sell the land of his ancestors, Ahab went into his room, crying and pouting, lying across his bed and refused to eat like a spoiled brat. His wife Jezebel came in and made matters worse by plotting to get the vineyard for nothing. She sent word to all the nobles in the city to call a fast and to place Nabaoth in a high position among the nobles. Then she hired two “sons of belial” or sons of the devil, to falsely accuse Nabaoth of blasphemy against God. Nabaoth was stoned to death and the king took the vineyard by default.
In 1 Kings 21:25 we read God’s opinion of the character of Ahab, "But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up."
Just to make a quick point here, I know that Ahab had to answer for his own evil heart and he really had no one to blame for his idolatry than himself. He could have chosen to not listen to Jezebel. But, I wonder if he would have been a better king if he had not married an idolatrous and evil plotting queen? She certainly pressed him on to disobey God and fall deeper into sin. Jezebel was a heathen princess, beautiful to look upon, but with a heart of deep, black sin! This is a case for being unequally yoked together in marriage. Seldom does that spouse who loves God draw the unsaved into the Kingdom of God. It usually goes the other way.