1 Kings 22
When Ahab tells Micaiah, “How many times do I have to tell you not to lie to me?” after he has prophesied the same outcome as the false prophets, my first reaction is to laugh out loud at the humor. First Ahab surrounds himself by yes-men. When Jehoshaphat jumps in (see what I did there?) and says, “Don’t you have even one prophet of the LORD?” Ahab tells him, “Yes, but he never has anything good to say about me.” I wonder why? Then when Micaiah tells him what God has really said, how God purposely sent a lying spirit to the false prophets to lead Ahab to his destruction, Ahab says, “See! I told you he never has anything good to say!”
The kings decide to do what they had planned all along, regardless of any word from the Lord, and Ahab plans a disguise to try to keep himself safe. But he cannot hide from God. In the end, all that God had prophesied for Ahab was fulfilled. It’s a story full of ironic humor.
But I stop laughing when I realize how often I am just like Ahab.
I make up my mind what I want to do. Surround myself with people who agree with me. Disregard any counsel from God’s Word or strong believers which seems to disagree. Forge ahead without hitting pause to pray, or only praying for God to bless my plans rather than for Him to be my plan.
Too often, I assume I know what God’s will is based on what He has done in the past. In the past, God had given Israel victory against their enemies. But this time, He would not. I presume grace, because God has been so gracious in the past. God’s grace is abundant, but a heart that presumes it lacks the humility to receive it.
Of all the sin that ensnares and trips us up, pride is the most pervasive, the oldest, and the deadliest. Pride tells us we are wise enough to make our own decisions. It suggests that we have the answers already. It urges us to judge others while we ignore our own shortcomings, but God warns us in Romans 2:3-4, “So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”