I was reading today about King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah. The King of Judah followed after the things of God but the King of Israel did evil in God’s eyes. In an effort to bring peace, King Jehoshaphat went to visit King Ahab. When he arrived he was asked by Ahab to join him in going to war at Ramoth-gilead against the King of Aram. The King of Judah, being a pursuer of God, said to Ahab “I am as you are, my people as your people; we will be with you in the battle.” “First, please ask what the Lord’s will is.” The King of Israel gathered 400 of his prophets who ALL (how do you get 400 people to agree on anything??) told the kings to “March up, and God will hand it over to the King.” Jehoshaphat asked “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here anymore? Let’s ask him.” There was only one in the land at that time, Micaiah. It so happened that King Ahab hated him. In his words “There is still one man who can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him…” Seriously? Seriously. You hate him?? Wow! That was basically King Jehoshaphat’s response, “The King shouldn’t say that!”. The story continues and Micaiah is brought before the two kings. At first he tells them exactly what Ahab wants to hear. I can only imagine this is due to the fact that he knows how much Ahab hates him and doesn’t really want to deal with it anymore…you know, you’ve been there, they aren’t going to listen to your advice so just tell them what they want to hear and maybe they will go away and leave you in peace! Just me? Annoyed party of 1! Finally Ahab makes him tell what the Lord has said. Well, it’s not good news for the two kings looking for a fight. In Micaiah’s exact words, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, “They have no master; let each return home in peace.” This does nothing but infuriate King Ahab, who is convinced this prophet never prophesies anything good about him. Side note…maybe if you followed after the Lord, the prophet would be more likely to prophesy good things…just a thought. To make the point of my title”The Importance of Godly Counsel”, let’s see how they did exactly the opposite! They went to war! If I’m told by 400 people who are simply “prophets” to go to war but the one single man in the whole land described as “one man who can still inquire of the Lord” that the sheep of Israel will be without a shepherd if I go to war…I’m pulling a staycation and staying right at home where I clearly belong! To bring a quick end to this story, everything happens just as Micaiah prophesied. In fact, the King of Israel was shot with a bow by a guy not even aiming at him! You know it’s your time when someone who isn’t even aiming for you kills you! The end of Ahab’s story is pretty gruesome and quite frankly unnecessary had he only taken the Godly counsel provided. Have you ever been given Godly counsel and proceeded to do the exact opposite? Felt that thing in your gut (hello discernment) trying to tell you something? Do you have Ahab syndrome? It’s amazing to me how many times in the Word that kings and different people are given such wonderful advice by prophets or Godly people and they don’t follow it. Why do we do that? Why do we think our ways are better? It so clearly says that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts greater than our thoughts. I think it fundamentally comes down to trust. Whether we have a lack of trust because we don’t believe He is truly good or that He won’t come through for us when we ask or maybe because we aren’t willing to accept that He might know better than we do about what’s best for us. Did you know that you can’t scare Him away by being completely open and honest? That He isn’t going to send balls of fire to consume you if you come honestly before Him and say “God, it’s hard for me to trust you with this…please help me.” What a wonderful thing to know that our God doesn’t get intimidated by our thoughts and feelings and issues. Whatever the case may be I encourage you to seek out Godly counsel before making any major decision or dealing with a particularly sensitive situation. Understand that you will receive confirmation during your prayer time and while reading His Word. He’s not going to leave you high and dry if you are truly seeking Him.
You can check out the story yourself here: 1 Kings 22:1-39