A Parable for All Times

The story of Micaiah and Zedekiah in 1Kings chapter 22, which can be read here illustrates peculiar truths that has permeated through every generation of mankind. Micaiah is the prophet of God whilst Zedekiah is a false prophet, using God as a convenient springboard to obtain riches and fame for himself.

Whilst Zedekiah's game with the iron horns can be regarded as allegorisation it is in fact a fabrication. Put even more simply it is a lie. Imagine King Ahab going out to gore the Arameans with those horns. Had he worn them he would in fact have been weighed down by them and incapable of goring any Arameans. He would have been totally ineffective. Zedekiah presented nothing more than a drama and note, the substance of his false prophecy lacks any true theology. Had King Ahab gone out and had a famous victory then Zedekiah would have been highly honoured and well rewarded. Zedekiah simply gambled. Well let's face it, the odds were fifty-fifty at worst. What must be noted is that he added: for the Lord will give it into the king's hand. He gambled using the Name of the Lord.

Is this not what the modern so-called prophets are doing today? They promise wealth, health and happiness (and more!) in the name of the Lord in dramatic fashion and then disappear from conference, mega meeting or wherever place they spoke, leaving considerably richer than when they arrived. Of course they can afford to do good works and help, say, a village in Africa since this can be a tool for even more riches plus the opportunity to insert 'world', 'international', 'global' into their ministry name. But good works cannot be allowed to cloud the issue of whether their words are truly from the Lord or not.

Let's get back to Zedekiah. Having given a false prophecy he then proceeded to attack God's true prophet (and God's word at the same time!). Such was Ahab's arrogance that he preferred Zedekiah's prophecy to Micaiah's and ordered Micaiah to be locked up and fed bread and water until he returned. Scripture never records anything further about Micaiah. Did he get released? In Ahab's eyes it was Micaiah in the wrong and so Zedekiah went free. It should be noted that the reverse is the biblical position! However this is always the case, a false prophet will attack the true church. Note also that God gave Ahab one last chance, yet he chose Zedekiah's word over God's word.

Every time that a false prophecy or word has been given it is the Body of Christ which suffers. There are many examples throughout history: The Crusades were sent out by a Roman Catholic Pope and not by Jesus Christ. Yet, it is the church even today which is often blamed for what took place. The Russian pogroms against the Jews were done in the Name of Christ. Today, we have Bishops saying: homosexuality is alright, but not according to scripture it isn't. Like any sin it needs to be dealt with. In each and every case it is the true church which has suffered and often continues to suffer.

Finally, there is a most important point in this story. Had Ahab, the King of Israel heeded the Word of God through Micaiah then he would not have died in battle. The word of a false profit or deceiver, however much couched in biblical sounding language and however close to the truth it sounds will always bring death, whereas the Word of God will always bring life. Today it is more important than ever before that biblical discernment is not ignored. Test everything 1Thessalonians 5 v21 you cannot afford not to!

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