What My God Says, That Will I Speak

Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what my God says, that I will speak.” (2 Chronicles 18:12-13)

After 400 false prophets of the god Baal had unanimously proclaimed that a great victory would be secured in the campaign of Israel and Judah against Ramoth-Gilead, Micaiah, a true prophet of the Lord, was summoned to deliver his prophecy concerning the plan. Not wishing for King Ahab’s already sour disposition toward the one true prophet in his kingdom to worsen, the messenger sent to retrieve him urges the man of God to step in line and join in with the 400 sycophants singing the victorious rally cry within the king’s throne room. But Micaiah, like every true prophet of God, can speak neither good nor bad except as the Lord leads him. “What my God says, that will I speak“, he answers.

Anyone who speaks on behalf of God, if they truly do so, will never be a popular person, at least as the world considers such. The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword and it cuts deeply into all who hear it (Hebrews 4:12). It is a living, healing salve to those who love God but to the natural man it is hated and despised. Micaiah knew that by telling King Ahab the truth, that the king himself would in fact die in the battle that he was now planning, he would further incur the ruler’s wrath and that his own treatment would suffer because of it. But in the words of Martin Luther, he knew that “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe” and that enduring a king’s anger is nothing compared with the loss felt in disappointing the King of Heaven.

We may not be actual “prophets of God” standing in the courts of kings, uttering  dire warnings against insolent monarchs who defy our Lord, but we are entrusted as children of God with the Word of God and must be careful stewards with that which we have been given. We are not at liberty to bend, alter, or water-down what God’s Word says, even if it goes directly against what the world believes to be right or wrong.  Today, Bible-believing Christians are called upon more and more to abandon “outdated” and “intolerant” morals in the name of acceptance and compromise, to fit in with the popular worldviews which reject the truths that God has clearly spoken. May we always remember that it is neither safe nor right to do so.

[Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.]

Because You Relied On The Lord

Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.” (2 Chronicles 16:8)

The prophet Hanani uttered these words to Asa, king of Judah, after the king had decided to bribe the king of Aram to break a treaty with Israel’s king, who was now at war with Judah. Though Asa, we may assume, believed that he had acted shrewdly, the prophet declares that he been foolish and that wars would plague him throughout the remainder of his reign (v. 9). The deal that he had hoped would bring his kingdom peace would spell the beginning of a series of conflicts that would last the final five years or so of his reign.

Yet in the verse before us King Asa is commended for his actions against the armies of Ethiopia led by Zerah and that consisted of over a million men (2 Chron. 14:9). Greatly outnumbered, Asa stood firm against the horde of soldiers, fortified in the knowledge that the Lord stood with his army. His reliance in that battle was on God and not the alliance of some other kingdom.

God is glorified when we choose to trust in Him, despite the odds, and rely on Him and not our own strength. The lesson given again and again throughout the Hebrews ancient wars was that God could give them victory, regardless of their being outnumbered, if they would only put their confidence in Him. We may not be fighting literal wars and military conflicts in our daily lives, but the same principles still apply. When we make the decision to trust in the Lord despite how great the odds are against us in our own battles, the Lord is pleased and the glory will go to Him.

“A man with God is always in the majority” – John Knox

[Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.]

A Living Sacrifice

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 KJV)

19th Century evangelist Dwight L. Moody is said to have remarked on this verse of Scripture, “The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.” We have a choice of whether we will yield ourselves to God or yield ourselves to sin (Rom. 6:13). Will we live a righteous, holy life or will we continue to walk in the way of this world?

What a stark contrast we have here in the New Testament book of Romans compared with the Law of the Old Testament. The watchword of Deuteronomy is “command” as the Law of Moses is given to the Children of Israel. Here in Romans, we see the word “beseech” or “urge.” Where Moses commanded, Paul appeals. He appeals to our sense of the grace and mercy, the goodness, of God as the reason for our obedience. It is not the voice of thunder shaking Mt. Sinai but the still-small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to the heart that our attention is called toward. Eleven chapters of Romans preceding this verse spell out what God has done for us and it is based on this that we are encouraged to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him.

Closing the verse, we are told that such is our reasonable service. Within that word rendered “reasonable” is the root of our English word logical. It only makes sense for us to obey God and yield ourselves to Him in light of all He has done for us. May we stay upon the altar and yield our lives for His service. Though we can never repay God for all He has done for us, becoming a living sacrifice is acceptable and well-pleasing to the Lord.