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 Vance Havner - There Is Yet One Man

[b]"There Is Yet One Man"[/b]
[i]By Vance Havner[/i]

I am impressed with the conduct of Micaiah, the prophet, as recorded in 1 Kings 22. Ahab and Jehoshaphat have allied in their own strength to wage war against Syria. Jehoshaphat proposes that the mind of God first be ascertained, and Ahab summons four hundred false prophets who glibly advice him, "Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it [Ramoth-Gilead] into the hand of the king." We still have professional Pollyannas, opportunists, and time-servers, who preach the popular thing, prophesying peace when there is no peace. One hears in these dark days a false optimism from many pulpits endorsing the world's vain policies and bidding Ahab go up to Ramoth-Gilead.

Jehoshaphat does not seem to have been satisfied with this gushing outburst, no doubt sensing it's superficiality. He enquires, "Is ther not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?" Ahab's reply is significant: "There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concering me, but evil." God's preacher is not popular. They hate him who rebukes in the gate and abhor him who speaks uprightly (Amos 5:10).

But Micaiah is sent for, and meanwhile the kings sit in state and the false prophets wax eloquent, for rarely may one preach before two kings! Zedekiah adds a touch of the dramatic and illustrates his message with two horns, a theatrical flourish which must have been ludicrous indeed. A chance to address royalty doubtless makes fools of most prophets. Paul before Agrippa is another story.

The messenger sent to Micaiah advices him to fall in line with the other prophets and prophesy smooth things. It is the old urge to follow the crowd, harmonize with the spirit of the times. Micaiah meets it majectically: "What the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak." Here is a man who really is different.

So he goes to the king and, at first in ironical mockery of the false prophets, bids the king go to battle. Then he declares in plainest terms that the battle will be a failure and that the prophets are liars. That was a blow for Zedekiah the dramatic; he smites the prophets and asks, "Which way went the spirit of the Lord from me to speak to thee?" It is a biting and bitter attack, but Micaiah meets it with another prophecy: "Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself." "You will find out when you are trying to hide!"

The king send Micaiah to prison with hard fare prescribed, bread and water of affliction. True prophets are not always rewarded with an increase in salary and a church downtown. Many of God's Micaiahs still eat his fare.

That does not upset the rugged seer. The king has commanded that he be kept in prison, "until I return in peace." Micaiah uses the phrase for a parting prophecy: "If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me;" then he bids everyone pay attention to what he has said.

There is a magnifigence about this man who towers about the manikins of this chapter like Gulliver above the Lilliputians. It is good to know that in such an age when preachers were but clowns at court that "there was yet one man" to whome kings meant nothing, who would tell the truth at any cost. It is so easy to boost the popular enthusiasms, to take advantage of passing sentiment and advertise one's self as did Zedekiah on the bandwagon of a current fad. Blessed is the exception who will spoil the fun with the truth from God and go to his bread and water of affliction having kept the faith.

"By Still Waters" By Vance Havner. Chapter 25: "There is yet one man". Page 82-84.

 2005/5/18 23:27





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