Professional Prophets (A Ministry of the Times)
Those must have been exciting times for the man of the moment. His name was Zedekiah. At the head of the Committee of Prophets he found favour with the King. As you know, kings like to know what would guarantee their position for life, and if it were possible, beyond life.
As 2 Chronicles 18 tells, Ahab got used to instant prophecy and Zedekiah and the Men never disappointed. With these folks it was always good news and each of them was assured of more than a piece of the pie from the table of the king’s dainties. Just picture and salivate at the table laid by the best chefs of that era. The only items missing were probably those that money could not buy. Although King Ahab had a wife with a reputation which probably confounded the worst in the kingdom of darkness, his close friend was a good man whose friends and family probably wondered at the irony. But they were close and Jehoshaphat paid a state visit. And that was the beginning of the great encounter.
Zedekiah whose father’s name was Chenaanah had pedigree and prophesied with panache – he made “horns of iron” as insignia for effect as head of 400 prophets who like their leader were adept at instant prophesy. On this day King Ahab had the all-clear to advance on Ramoth-gilead and deal an unforgettable blow on his enemies.
That was sweet to the ears of Ahab as a friend of the prophets. But his friend who desired to hear from the Lord before the adventure had a feeling what he was hearing appeared orchestrated.
“Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides that we might inquire of him?” Jehoshaphat asked in verse 6. Despite mixing up with “bad company” he was still sensitive enough to know the difference. Then Ahab admitted there was one other prophet he hated.
Why won’t he? Micaiah did not speak to please; he only said what God told him to say. And the servants of the king tried their best to prepare this lone exception for shadow boxing.
When he however found his rhythm in front of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, Micaiah laid bare the mind of his Master:: a lying spirit, he said had used Zedekiah and his men to sell the kings a dummy!
It was too much to bear. Zedekiah arose for his god giving Micaiah the slap of his life. How, he told the captive audience could the “Spirit of the Lord” leave him and speak through a junior prophet known more for being a rebel and without connections in high places. He was somewhat right because the “spirit of the lord” that spoke through him was different from the “Spirit of the Lord” working with Micaiah
Ahab got his pound of flesh: the irritant of a prophet was sentenced to prison to feed on the ‘bread of affliction.”. But before the dungeon he had a passing shot: if the king came back in one piece then God had not spoken through him.
Of course, that was the king’s last outing in peace. His disguise in battle did not spare him of defeat and death. Not even Jehoshaphat was willing to be the sacrificial lamb from a mistaken identity. Zedekiah thereafter simply faded into oblivion. Micaiah laughed last. Every true prophet laughs last because as long as it is of God, the word will come to pass (Deuteronomy 18: 22).
The road to vindication may be lonely but it is worth the ride!
©By, Nosa Owens-Ibie
December 24, 2015