The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." - 1Kings22: 8 (NIV)
Those who truly love the Bible probably have their favorite chartacters. Many might identify with the travails of Peter or the deliverance of Joseph. Others might feel as if they have been knocked off their own high horse as Paul once was or run away from the call of God like Jonah. Then there are those smaller characters that stand out to us. That spark our interest or who we can relate to. For me one of those men was named Micaiah. Perhaps one of the most famous prophets to not have his own book, Micaiah prophesied during the reign of King Ahab in Israel. He always stood out to me because he refused to compromise the truth for what was convenient or expedient, even though it could cost him his very life. What we see play out in 1Kings 22 is a picture of what we see playing out in the church today. Remember, the Bible tells us that these things were recorded so that we might learn from them and not be caught unaware. Before we get to Micaiah however it is important to realize who King Ahab was and how a similar spirit today can be found controlling much of modern churchianity. Please keep in mind that when I say "spirit" I do not mean to suggest that the actual spirit of King Ahab is walking the halls of churches across this land. Rather the personality traits that Ahab possessed that led him so far astray are embraced and embodied in what we see today. The spiritual warfare he engaged and lost in during his life we see playing out today. What is past is prologue.
First off, Ahab was always found contrary to the Word of God. Remember in these days there was no Bible. The Word of the Lord would come to His people through the true prophets. Ahab's reign shows five different clashes with the prophets of God, all of which find Ahab in opposition to the Lord. The first of these is with Elijah, whom Ahab refers to as a "troubler of Israel." This is probably the most known conflict which ends on Mount Carmel with 450 prophets of Baal slain by the power of the one true God. After two more conflicts with prophets that remain unnamed, we come to the story of Elijah confronting Ahab over the execution of Naboth at the hands of his wife, Jezebel. Lastly, there is the confrontation with Micaiah. The spirit of Ahab is in opposition to the Word of the Lord. It finds for itself false prophets to follow and false gods to support. In leading up to the battle on Mount Carmel there were no shortage of Baal prophets and only Elijah stood for God. Yet Ahab looked upon Elijah as the problem:
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, "Is it you, you troubler of Israel?" And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table." - 1Kings 18: 17-19 (ESV)
So it is today in the church overrun with the spirit of Ahab. Those who would stand up for the truth of what God says and His commandments are deemed the troublers. Meanwhile the church continues to follow the Baals. We follow the gods of money and prosperity and gather around us teachers to fill our hearts with the greed of our own avarice. We follow the Baals of lawlessness and gather around us greasy grace teachers to fill our hearts with the excusal of our own sins. We follow the idols of demonic supernaturalism and gather around us false signs and lying wonders preachers to fill our hearts with the worship of our own carnality. What do these and the other 450 false followings have in common beloved? They are all opposed to the one true God and they all accuse those who oppose them as being troublers. This is what Ahab embodied.
Secondly, Ahab was married to the world and because of his love for it, he led the people to worship the same. Jezebel was not a follower of the one true God. She was a Phoenician princess. Like Solomon before Him, Ahab would go outside of his faith to join with and the result was predictable. He not only set up areas for his wife to practice her abominable worship of Baal and Asherah but he would lead the people of Israel to do the same. She persecuted the true prophets and set up safe haven for the multitudes of her own false ones. Jezebel required that her religion be the official religion of Israel. The parallels to the modern church are stark and obvious for those who would see spiritual warfare. For those with the eyes to see.
The church today is likewise married to the world and because of their love for it, it leads the people to worship the same. The church not only allows the temptress to come in but gives her the pulpit. Gives her the control. The mega church mentality built on purpose driven theology is an Ahab spirit allowing the Jezebels of foreign idol worshiping to become the acceptable national religion. The actual Word of God is given lip service, ignored or marginalized. When discussing people who are unsaved today pastors are taught to refer to them as unchurched. When discussing their needs it is always couched in worldly terms. Improving their marriages or self esteem. Sure they always acknowledge the "need for Jesus" but not in the Scriptural sense. Jesus becomes a catch-all, feel good-ism. He becomes our spiritual busboy cleaning up our messes and our blessing dispenser here to satiate our perceived needs. All under the carnal definition of "love." The true prophets? Just like Jezebel who cannot stand the actual Word of the Lord neither can the spirit in the church today. Instead entire networks of false prophets are built, just like Jezebel built hers, to prop up the new national religion. Those who are opposed and insist on biblical accuracy are persecuted either in spirit or in truth. I have written before how different mega church pastors have referred to believers who want a deeper relationship with His Word this year alone. One referred to them as the "jackasses" in his church. Another referred to them as the excrement in the body of Christ. If you challenge what is false you are branded as divisive or religious.
Just as Ahab and Jezebel led the nation of Israel into widespread pagan worship so the same traits are embodied today in a church that leads the people of God away from Him. The carnality that has infiltrated the church today is exactly the same as in the days of Ahab. It is a love for the world over God. Just this past week we saw another mega church put on a performance of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and then posted an altar call picture claiming the people responded not to the preached Word of God but to their display of "Thriller" carnality. Another popular televangelist posted a picture of her and her new (third) husband dressed up for Halloween. There is not even any shame about our worldliness anymore. Why would there be when the Ahab's across the pulpits in this country preach what they practice? The people are led to be shameless in their carnality. Experience is placed above doctrine. If something "feels" right it is attributed to the Holy Spirit while no one allows the Spirit to lead them into all truth, which is contained only in Scripture. So we come to the story of Micaiah and Ahab in 1Kings 22. King Jehoshaphat of Judah came to visit Ahab and they discussed the prospects of going to war with Ramoth-gilead. While they agreed in principle, Jehoshaphat wanted to make sure God would be with them: