“Is There Not a Prophet of the Lord?”

In the Book of 1 Kings when King Ahab asks King Jehoshaphat to help him to retake Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat was sympathetic but thought they should first “Seek the counsel of the Lord.” A succession of prophets were brought forth to predict victory, but King Jehoshaphat called for a true prophet of the Lord. Reluctantly Ahab agreed to call Micaiah son of Imlah (“But he only says bad things about me”) who foretold the death of King Ahab and all Israel would be scattered. Today, likewise when ones reads a newspaper or watch a news or current affairs programme on the television there are many issues when I would wish there could be someone who could speak truth into the situation. There are a number of issues where traditional biblical values are under attack today. O that the secular media would give a fair crack of the whip to those who uphold the truth of Scripture. If any airtime is given it is usually accompanied by sneering scepticism. It is saddening to see Church leaders questioning the authority of the Bible in order to placate secularists and lobby groups with an anti-God agenda. The temptation is to give the King Ahabs of this world the message they want to hear. Even when the Church is not giving in to its enemies its record on the prophetic is not very great. There are many who call themselves prophets but how many are just playing to the gallery? How many prophecies just reflect the prejudices of those who make them? Doom to our perceived enemies and blessings to our friends. Have they genuinely inquired of the Lord on such a matter? And if they did, did they like the answer they got? I suspect not. One only has to look at the subject of eschatology and the attempts at trying to identify the antichrist over the centuries. Each generation had had its favourites who have invariably died with the second coming still being awaited. 200 years ago people thought the antichrist was Napoleon Bonaparte. In the 1940s people thought it was Hitler or Stalin. As not even Satan knows when Jesus will return he probably does not know who the antichrist will be. (He might have a short list in case the rapture comes tomorrow, but he has no control over when that might be.) Why have they been so wrong? Possibly, because we see through the lens of the culture that we grow up in, we fail to look beyond it. How do we seek the counsel of the Lord? The Bible is not known as the Word of God for nothing. We need to know the truth of Scripture. “All Scripture is God-breathed,” Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Tim. 3 v16), though he was referring to what we now call the Old Testament it is equally applicable to the New Testament. There is an old saying that a text taken out of context is a pretext. Anybody can select a verse or two of Scripture and use them to argue against orthodox Christian doctrine. We all know of people who are capable of arguing that black is white and white is black. It is part of human nature to justify of own actions that we would condemn others for. It is important for Christians to read all of Scripture so that we know the context of a verse or phrase. All too often our reference point is the very nature of God. It is not for nothing that the meaning of theology is the study of God. There is great pressure from some quarters for churches to compromise with continual siren like voices demanding that they must accept their atheistic world-view. There are those who are disciples of Josef Goebbels who famously stated that if he told a lie a thousand times it would become the truth. Of course, an obvious lie will be contested so they make dubious statements which are repeated ad infinitum. Their arguments are deceptive saying that the church is in decline because they are out of touch with the modern world and therefore need to abandon traditional biblical values, but ignore spiritual dimensions, such as the role of the Holy Spirit in convicting a person of sin, and confusing church attendance with actual belief. Reducing a church to a mere do-gooding social club. When Jesus said:- “For God so loved the world,” He did not mean that we should be worldly, but rather that the Godhead looked beyond themselves to provide a way of salvation to fallen mankind. We are called upon to make disciples of Jesus and not spiritual clones of ourselves. To love others who are different from ourselves that we might reach them for salvation, but not by watering down the Gospel so far that it might deny them the very thing that we aim to give them. That would be cruel indeed. But we live in an age where objective truth is denied so that it is not surprising that there are those who hate the One who declared himself the Truth. We live in an age where we are asked to tolerate sin but be intolerant of the truth because it offends the sinner. King Ahab only partially believed what Micaiah had said, he still went to fight for Ramoth Gilead but went in disguise as an ordinary soldier, but an arrow found a chink in his armour and he died. Partial obedience was not good enough for him and it is not for us today.
David G. Rose 2013.

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About davidgrose

I am a Bible believing Christian, brought up in the Brethren Movement, and now find myself associating with charismatics even though I do not always agree with them. I am in full-time employment. I have interests in history and photography amongst others.
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