And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.” (1 Kings 22:4-5)
Micaiah is the prophet of God. Isreal is divided into two kingdoms. There is an external threat to both kingdoms so they come together and form a military alliance. King Jehoshaphat in the south and King Ahab in the northern Kingdom come together to face the threat from Aram. A military alliance.
They need the counsel of God and divine guidance and so they hold a prophetic convocation that draws 400 so-called prophets of the Lord. The issue is discussed and all the prophets agreed unanimously that if the kings went up against Aram at Ramoth-gilead, a glorious victory would be achieved.
But King Jehosphaphat senses something is wrong and so stands up before the assembled prophetic voices and states, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?” In reality he is saying, “This advice we just got from 500 who declare themselves to be prophets is not from God. Is there a real prophet who hears God’s heart here in our assembly?”
Instinctively Jehoshaphat knew that not one of those supposed prophets gathered before them spoke a genuine word, and he therefore called for a true prophet to come forward. Ahad (the other king in the alliance) reluctantly came forward and admitted that there was one other prophet whom they had not heard from … “but, I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” (1 Kings 22:8b).
That’s the issue isn’t it? I mean who wants to hear the truth from the mouth of a prophet or apostle? When a prophetic word speaks some correction into a person’s life – they are often offended and declare the person to be a false prophet or, at the least, declare the prophetic word to be inaccurate. We often dismiss words that speak to us about things we don’t want to hear, directions we don’t want to go in, things we don’t particularly want to do.
We want to hear good things from God about ourselves – things that line up with our heart desires and wishes. We don’t want to hear that God is opposed to our well-conceived plans. We don’t want to know that God stands against our delusions of grandeur. We want to be told only what we want to hear. We want to attend only the conference where the prophetic voice excites us, not the one that tells us the truth and truly prepares us!
Well, the Bible story (a true story) does not end there. Jehoshaphat insists that they send for Micaiah and he states, (1 Kings 22:23a) “Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets…” Notice the true prophetic voice (Micaiah) calls them “your prophets” and not the Lord’s prophets. He goes on to say, ” and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.”
Not what you would want to hear when planning to go into battle against your joint enemy. One lone voice out of 401 voices declaring a word contrary to that declared by all the others. One lone voice crying in the wilderness. So, they jailed Micaiah and went to battle. They met disaster just as Micaiah had predicted. In fact, Ahab died in the battle.
Nothing has changed. We still flock to hear the prophetic voices that “tickle our ears” and tell us what we want to hear. And, those true prophetic voices that speak God’s heart to God’s people (as hard as that may be at times) are ignored and, most often, not invited to conferences – and, in fact, often have difficulty finding places to minister. They are relegated to the backwaters of the ministry world because they do not excite us in the way we have come to expect and desire (the flesh). They would not flatter our self-focus or our desire for great destiny and prominence.
I believe that in 2009 we need to stop to consider what we are hearing prophetically – either personal prophecy or prophetic words for the nation, about the new president of the United States, financial markets or the economic situation. We need to weigh each word and consider them carefully. Do they speak the heart of God to the situation or are they simply fluff and a lot of fan fare that excites us because it is what we really wanted to hear … and thus elevates the prophetic voice to greater heights of ministry recognition based on false prophecy?
I believe that in 2009 often unknown prophetic voices will speak an accurate Word of the Lord. These ministries – often without national recognition, a television presence, syndicated radio shows, or major ministry organization pumping out magazines, books, CDs and DVDs – will speak forth a true and accurate Word of the Lord.
I believe that in 2009 these Words will travel world-wide via individuals on the internet who recognize that the Word is truly the voice of the Lord to His Church. There will be an unofficial prophetic web network who find and share these true insights from the heart of the Father. This web presence will be unlike any that are currently functioning as it will function with God-given discernment and will not simply post everything that someone declares to be the Word of the Lord even when it isn’t.
I believe that in 2009 the ministry of the prophetic will guide and direct the Church as it did ion the book of Acts – but that little of that direction will be heard through major prophetic venues and markets – but will be spoken by locally recognized and respected apostolic and prophetic ministries who quietly go about ministering to many without a “national presence” and without being generally well-known and whose names have not become a household word.
I believe that in 2009 prophetic ministry will mature and quickly “grow up” and will definitely declare a clear trumpet sound to declare the plans and purposes of God to individuals, churches, and nations.