Sermon prep for this Sunday’s message from 2 Chronicles 18 . . . Ahab, Jehoshaphat, the 400 false-prophets, and Micaiah . . . the dangers of giving the true Word from the Lord . . .
2 Chronicles 18:25-27
And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son, and say, ‘Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’” And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”
These words here have always struck me.
Impressed something important on me.
Especially as a preacher.
They seem rather dangerous.
I have been—in the last 40+ years as a Christian—around those (way too many) who either have been “given a Word from God” or have been the giver of “a Word from God.” Not just preachers either, but also among friends, just lay-folk, or just one to another. This has always struck me as well, as very arrogant to say the least, a way to show power over someone or affirm power over others, or at the most, very dangerous (probably all the above). I have never once, however, heard someone “giving that Word” say what Micaiah said at the end of his scene before Ahab: “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.”
In most cases, the word given has no risks for the giver.
Yet, as a giver of a Word—at least on Sunday mornings and also in advise and counsel—I need to approach with caution and a willingness to be at risk in someway and be willing to pay a price if necessary. Some make riches and fame off their preaching. I have not been so privileged. But, I do hope I am closer to Micaiah in my willingness and intention to give of God’s Word to others no matter the cost.
Hey, did you ever notice that there is no mention of Micaiah getting out of that prison cell after the battle and after Ahab was killed and died . . . as far as we know from the story, remained in that cell . . . that is the risk of giving a (real, true) Word from God, as it should be . . . I pray I am willing and, when presented the opportunity, enduring . . .
Read my previous Wasted Sermon Prep notes on 2 Chronicles 18 . . . >>
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.