If you ever think you have got the way God works all boxed and taped, read what I have been reading this morning: 2 Chronicles 18. At a time when sycophantic prophets were prophesying success and victory for King Ahab in battle, one prophet dared to speak truth and ended up being locked up for doing so. His name was Micaiah. By God’s Spirit he saw what would happen if Ahab went into battle: all Israel would be scattered like sheep without a shepherd.
We are given insight into what was going on in the heavenliness in verses 18-22:
“And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these your prophets. The LORD has declared disaster concerning you.”
These are not easy verses to read… in your understanding or mine, is there room for the Lord sending a lying spirit into the hearts of those with prophetic gifting when their hearts are set on earthly things rather than on things above? I believe in prophetic gifting and calling because I believe the bible, but in this area as in everything else the fear of the Lord truly is the beginning of wisdom.
If we want to prophesy truly, in the light of this story we need to check our hearts to see that we are not operating with a spirit of favouritism which seeks to curry favour with anyone rather than being a channel to present the unchanging ways of a God who shows no favouritism or partiality but sees all and judges justly. James warns us of a harsh reality anyway: those to whom we show favouritism, can end up doing us harm.