Preachers Who Are Hated
1 Kings 22:7-8 "And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? 8And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."
A prophet whose name is Micaiah, was hated by the King of Israel whose name is Ahab. We know much about the life of Ahab and his wife Jezebel from the Scriptures. His life is summarized in 1 Kings 21:25, "But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." Ahab had surrounded himself with preachers who were hirelings. They did not speak the Word of the Lord but spoke the words of Ahab. They spoke what they thought the king wanted to hear. Ahab had grown to hate Micaiah because He spoke truth rather than fiction. Jehoshaphat desired that Ahab would have a different opinion, and said, "Let not the king say so."
Many people want to have their ears tickled. They choose to live a certain way, and then seek a preacher who will condone that way. Ahab wanted his way, he didn't want the will of God. Paul the Apostle spoke of these folks in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." Many people today don't know the difference between Bible truth and fiction because they have a great desire to feel good. When a preacher speaks truth and it rubs them the wrong way, they get mad, they pout, and run from the situation. God's will is for us to hear the truth, and respond accordingly with confession and repentance when we are wrong. I have had many times in my life when I realized I was wrong and needed to ask God to forgive me and change my direction. I want to be right with God, not right with my feelings and individual desires. Paul summarized the heart of a genuine Bible preacher when he said, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10) Also, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but god, which trieth our hearts." A man who preaches the Bible should seek to please God, not people.
A preacher of the Bible should be loved, not hated. He should be encouraged, not discouraged. Each one of us should desire to hear the truth, and praise God when we hear it from the pulpits of our churches.
May each of us desire the will of God, and when we realize we are wrong may we ask God to forgive us and repent of our ways. Ahab hated the prophet. How about you?
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. How do you respond when the Word of God convicts your heart?
2. Have you ever despised the preacher because He spoke truth from the Word of God? Why did you experience that emotion?
3. Do you desire more than anything to be like Christ or to have your ears tickled?
4. How do you encourage your pastor to remain true to His calling and preaching of the Word?