Spiritual patriotism

1 Kings 22:2-7



A.there is no period in Bible history that is more dramatic then the life and times of king Ahab

1.some of the worst and some of the best OT characters were his contemporaries

a)there was Jezebel, one of the most wicked women who ever lived

b)there was Elijah, who live in a tempest and went to heaven in a whirlwind

2.the times were evil, but they were not dull; something was happening every minute

B.on this occasion, Ahab planned a campaign against Ramoth in Gilead - 3

1.it was a case of a bad man doing a good thing in the wrong way

2.he had Scripture for the undertaking (Deuteronomy 4:43), for Ramoth was one of the cities of refuge

3.it takes more than a verse to justify such a venture

4.Ahab persuaded king Jehoshaphat of Judah to join him in the venture

C.Jehoshaphat was a good man, but easily influenced

1.Ahab probably put on a banquet; a kick off supper is usually all it takes to line up a Jehoshaphat

2.the king of Judah had no business in such a project, as the prophet Jehu told him – 2 Chronicles 19:2 [Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD?}

3.that warning needs to be brought out of mothballs and put into practice

D.Jehoshaphat did ask that the Israelites enquire of the Lord - 1 Kings 22:5

1.it was a little late to enquire of the Lord, since they had already made up their minds - 1 Kings 22:4

2.to appease Jehoshaphat, 400 false prophets were called in, and they were unanimous in their opinion - 1 Kings 22:6

3.when 400 preachers agree, there may be grounds for suspicion

4.for this reason, Jehoshaphat ask, “Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?] - 1 Kings 22:7

5.we must give Jehoshaphat some credit for at least raising the issue by asking if there was anyone who truly speaks for God

E.Ahab acknowledged that there was “yet one man” - 1 Kings 22:8

1.for this we can thank God, for there is usually at least one; God will not leave Himself without a witness

2.Ahab was quick to add, “but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil”

a)this is to the eternal credit of that one man; he spoke the truth, rather than what was wanting to be heard

b)this reminds us of the Greatest Prophet of all, who said, “me it (the world) hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” - John 7:7

F.while someone went to get Micaiah, the hated prophet, ono of the false prophets added a theatrical touch to his prophesy, and added a dash of Hollywood - 1 Kings 22:11

1.Zedekiah waved some horns around and dramatized the success of the forthcoming venture

2.it is bad enough to be a false prophet, but to be a ham actor beside is too much

G.this was a day of unification, with Ahab and Jehoshaphat uniting

1.it was also a day of harmony, with 400 prophets in one accord

2.it was suppose to be a day of uniformity, with the messenger informing Micaiah that the local clergy association had agreed, and that he should go along with them - 1 Kings 22:13

3.there was a problem with Micaiah, he had not been regimented, standardized, collectivized, or brainwashed

a)he had no axe to grind, he was not riding the bandwagon, and he was not on his way up

b)he did not think the grass looked greener in the next pasture, and he craved no man’s bishopric

c)he was not a link in anybody’s chain

H.Micaiah was the 401st prophet, and the world hates the 401st prophet

1.he broke the monotony when he said, “As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak” - 1 Kings 22:14

2.Micaiah was put on a diet of bread and water for his words - 1 Kings 22:26-28

3.better to be a prophet on bread and water, than a politician at the feast of Ahab like Jehoshaphat

4.with his words, Micaiah answered the question of Jehoshaphat:  “Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides”

II.we live in days that are not unlike the days of Micaiah

A.it is a time of unification

1.there are still many Ahab’s and Jehoshaphat’s that are still going up to Ramoth in Gilead

2.the world is being unified into the world state, and the churches are being unified into the world church

3.it is a time of harmony, of yes-men and rubber stamps

B.we are like eggs in a crate

1.we talk about being “different,” but never have we been more alike

2.teenagers boast of being different, but they dress alike, talk alike, and look alike

3.the human race is being blended into one faceless, gigantic mass

4.it is the day of the lowest common denominator, the happy medium, the middle of the road

5.a pleasant “get-alongism” and “tolerance” has so paralyzed us into moral apathy that it is almost impossible to arouse us from our agreeable trance

6.the steamroller is flattening all the mountains into one level plain

III.such a time as this does not breed many prophets

A.men who speak for God, never merge into the fog around them

B.Noah stood alone in a civilization of culture and progress

1.his contemporaries must have laughed at him as an eccentric, who was building an oversized houseboat, and looking for the world to end

C.Elijah stood alone among the priest of Baal and the stooges who ate at Jezebel’s table

1.when he challenged the multitude, the 5th amendment crowd “answered him not a word”                       - 1 Kings 18:21

D.Amos stood along in the religious-political system of his day

1.his time had not been spent in a divinity school

2.he was unwilling to be a part of the group who made their living by bowing to the wishes of the people, and preaching pleasant messages so that he could get a return engagement

E.Jeremiah stood alone among the tranquilizers of his day, who were preaching peace when there was no peace

1.we are still reading Jeremiah, while the happiness boys of his day have all been forgotten

F.Daniel spoke for God in the midst of pagan empires

1.it was worth the threats of the fiery furnace and the lion’s den, to be able one day to read God’s hand writing on the wall

G.Paul conferred not with flesh and blood, but got his orders direct from headquarters

1.he was not the product of an assemble line

2.Paul was a strategist who thought out his strategy on the field of war, and not in some office were paper was more plentiful than experience and foresight

IV.true prophet are solitary people; eagles do not fly in flocks

A.it is not easy to be a lone dissenter

1.the messenger told Micaiah, “the clergy have agreed, and you had better make it unanimous; it is an honor to speak before 2 kings and 400 prophets; this is a good gravy train and you better ride it”

a)he was told this is the mood of the hour, and you better get with the program

2.the same subtle pressure is used today to persuade preachers to get in step with the times, and ride the wave of the future

3.what we need today are more preachers that are out of step with the times, and more odd prophets like Micaiah

B.we are told that we must adjust, but adjust to what

1.God’s man needs to adjust only to God’s Word and God’s will

2.it is not the business of the prophet to harmonize with the times – 2 Corinthians 6:15

3.the preacher is a soloist; he was never meant to play the accompaniment to anything

4.Micaiah stood his ground and refused to be sweep off his feet by a popular movement

C.we hear much today about patriotism, and our national heroes should be saluted

1.where is our patriotism to truth; it seems to be as rare as in Micaiah’s day

2.the greatest need of our day is a 401st prophet of the Lord, that we may inquire of him

V.prophets are not popular people

A.prophets are not popular at home, they are without honor in their own country - Matthew 13:57

1.they are certainly not popular with politicians; Ahab hated Micaiah

2.Ahab feared him enough to disguise himself when he went into battle, lest his prediction come true      - 1 Kings 22:30

B.prophets are not popular with Pharisees – Matthew 23:29-32

1.organized religion hates the preacher whose headquarters is heaven, and whose Superintendent is God

2.they are enraged when they cannot control him

3.the times are never favorable for the lone dissenter

C.if someone is interested in a prophetic or preaching ministry, get ready for trouble

1.those who want to preserve the status quo, will despise you

2.you will be hated by the Jezebels and all who would set up the worship of Baal alongside the alter of Jehovah

3.scant provisions are made for the prophets down here

4.you must report to the Heavenly Headquarters, and get your orders from the Main Office

5.you better mean business or else your ministry will be pathetic instead of prophetic

6.REMEMBER:  prophets are needed but not wanted

7.the time is desperate for another 401st prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of him