2 Chronicles 18:9-27 – It’s Time for the Church To Stand Out & Step In!

Posted: September 2, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 18:9-27

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

Opening Illustration/Comments

As Christ followers, we live in an unprecedented time in America. We often hold beliefs, now, that are not popular with the culture. More often than not, we are and will be ridiculed for speaking God’s truth about situations in our society. We will be shamed into the fringes by the mainstream culture. It is called, now, the “cancel culture”. If you do something (either presently or in your past) that is in opposition to the prevailing cultural beliefs of our secularized society, you will be chastised, reprimanded, maybe even lose your job and other ramifications for saying or doing something that is antithetical to the cultural mores of our day.

In our culture today, often, we point at symptoms rather than the root causes because the root causes run deeper than we want to go. It’s fashionable to say this symptom needs to stop. And we often say that because it really needs no investment of time, talents, or resources to say some symptom needs to end. For example, we want to defund the police. Well, at least that’s what gets all the headlines. However, as the father-in-law of a police officer, I have a fundamental problem with that.

My son-in-law has been a police officer for about two decades now. And, in his various jobs, he gets to see us, society at our worst. He gets to see the underside of society that the rest of us want to ignore. He gets to see us shoot each other over stupid things. He gets to see the effects of drug addiction. He gets to see wives who get punched around by their husbands like a punching bag. He gets to see abused children. He gets to see the ravages of alcohol on families and individuals. He has been called into tense situations where he could have been harmed or killed himself during the process of enforcing the law. And, you know what, my son-in-law is a well-trained, self-motivated and a person who is a deep thinker about the law. He really should be a lawyer instead of a police officer but this is his calling. So, is the solution castigating police when the 99.9% of cops are good guys who know and understand the law and how far they can go with their authority. The overwhelming majority do not want to use killing force and would rather de-escalate a situation than pull their weapons and use them.

Is the greater problem really a societal one where the police are caught at the back end of a larger social problem? There are bigger social problems that we must address and these problems are not based on race at all. There is the issue of poverty. There is then the issue of lack of access to good education in areas wracked by poverty. Poor education then reinforces the poverty. Fatherless homes of any race or economic level is a rampant problem in our country. God designed families to be led by fathers and for fathers to be present in the lives of their children. However, across racial lines, in our society in general, over 25% of kids live in homes where their father is not present. And, the further you go down in income levels, the higher than percentage goes. Fathers are part of God’s plan in children’s lives. They are the balance to the role that mothers by nature play in a child’s life. Mothers are designed to give children unconditional love and be a child’s safety net, their safe haven, their nest. Fathers on the other hand are designed to teach kids about the toughness of the world outside the doors of the home and how we must be able to handle it. In the absence of that balance, we have many social ills that result. And one of the results too of fatherless homes is that it reinforces poverty. Even if a family was middle class before a father leaves a home, they fatherless home is likely to drop into or near poverty as a result.

Add to these ills, the fact that our society has drifted from God altogether and celebrates that which is unbiblical in all aspects of life. In a society where the church has been marginalized or allowed itself to be marginalized is a far greater problem. Without the guiding principles of biblical foundation, our society has drifted into unhealthy views on all levels of human interaction. Thus, without the accountability of being part of a fellowship of believers, everything is open season now in the name of the god of individual rights. The pursuit of individual rights and self-expression now takes precedence over the good of society. Even if my desired individual rights tear at the fabric of society, the pursuit of what I want and what I need is supreme. This is not who is in the white house problem. This is our society for the last 50 years.  

With all these social problems and civil unrest out there and people really not focusing on what the real and deeper fundamental problems of our country are, we in the church are at a crossroads. We can just go along with the culture just so we can not stand out and be ridiculed. And on some issues, the church has done just that. Or we can stand out and go about the business of solving the real problems of society from the ground up.

It is that idea of speaking God’s truth when the culture is focused on dragging everyone along with it in believing something that is the opposite of God’s truth that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 18:9-27. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

18 Jehoshaphat enjoyed great riches and high esteem, and he made an alliance with Ahab of Israel by having his son marry Ahab’s daughter. 2 A few years later he went to Samaria to visit Ahab, who prepared a great banquet for him and his officials. They butchered great numbers of sheep, goats, and cattle for the feast. Then Ahab enticed Jehoshaphat to join forces with him to recover Ramoth-gilead.

3 “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” King Ahab of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah.

Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one, and my troops are your troops. We will certainly join you in battle.” 4 Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the Lord says.”

5 So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, 400 of them, and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?”

They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! God will give the king victory.”

6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question.”

7 The king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, “There is one more man who could consult the Lord for us, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but trouble for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

Jehoshaphat replied, “That’s not the way a king should talk! Let’s hear what he has to say.”

8 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Quick! Bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that, when you want to please or impress someone, it is tempting to simply tell them what they want to hear rather than the truth. Ahab’s 400 prophets did just that, telling Ahab’s 400 prophets did just that. They were rewarded for making Ahab happy. Micaiah told the truth and got arrested. Obeying God does not always protect us from evil consequences. Speaking the truth of God may, in fact, provoke people to shame us, to attack us, maybe physically harm us, maybe imprison us, and maybe even kill us. It has happened to God’s people throughout history and it continues today. We must never grow weary of doing what God says is right. We must be willing to speak the truth regardless of the consequences. If the world is acting in an unbiblical way and wants us to acquiesce to their way of thinking, we must stick to our beliefs that spring from the pages of Scripture and that have been confirmed by 2,000 years of believers, regardless of consequence. Is it better to live and have compromised our biblical beliefs or to die having remained true to God’s Word?

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that the church must be compelled not just to go along with the headlines. Nor should be wash our hands of society and retreat into our Christian cocoons. We need to solve the real problems of our society at the fundamental levels. We need to be helping the poor get out of poverty permanently. We need to be in our schools and assisting kids to learn. We need to be stepping into families where fathers are not present. We need to be stepping into fathers who live away from their kids and speak into their lives about being a real parent to their kids. We need to step into society and address the impacts of a society that has so many negative impacts of pursuing our individual rights as our god and teach it about the fact that we are subject to a higher authority in Jesus Christ. We must not be afraid. We must do this. If we get ridiculed for addressing the real problems so be it. I know that my son-in-law, the cop, will appreciate the church stepping into society instead of sitting on the sidelines bemoaning what once was.

Amen and Amen.

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