This post marks the first in a series of posts entitled: "Truth's Heroes."

I am operating under the general premise that Christians today are so afraid of offending someone that we keep the Truth to ourselves.  When a teacher at school teaches evolution to innocent children, we turn and look the other way.  When a policy is made in government that goes completely against the Bible, we might mumble under our breath - and then turn the other way.  When an athlete comes out as "gay," we sidestep any controversy about the subject and turn the other way.  My friends, I say "we" because I am guilty of it too.  But we shouldn't be.  None of us who know the Truth should be hiding it.  We should be speaking it.

I am going to be focusing on some very controversial issues over the next few posts.  Some of you may agree with me wholeheartedly, others will undoubtedly emphatically disagree with me.  Regardless, I am not in charge of what you do with the information I will be presenting over the next few days: you are.  I am simply the spokesperson, not because I necessarily want to be, but because God has specifically burdened me with this literal, pressing weight.  As we will see in our journey ahead, sometimes being the spokesperson means you are as hated as the message giver Himself.

Not many people have heard of the prophet Micaiah.  To tell you the truth, I read about him before when I read the book of I Kings, but I certainly didn't remember him.  Lately, though, God has sent me on a mission, on a hunt, to find and then to study the Bible, searching for who did what was right and who spoke the Truth boldly no matter what the consequences.  Micaiah is such a man who did both.

In I Kings chapter 22, we read what has now become one of my favorite stories in the entire Bible.  Before I get into the story, first let me give you some brief history to set the stage.

The setting is Israel.  After the death of King Solomon, Israel has since been divided into two kingdoms: the northern part is called Israel; the southern part is called Judah.  At this point in history, Ahab is the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat is the king of Judah.  Both kings come together in chapter 22 to decide whether or not to go to war against the king of Aram of the Arameans.  Ramoth Gilead, controlled by the Arameans, should belong to Israel; however, they have lost it.  Now Ahab is teaming up with Jehoshaphat to reclaim their territory.

Micaiah is a prophet of God who is never mentioned before or after this story (except in the parallel account found in 2 Chronicles chapter 18).  Apparently, Ahab has summoned him before because Ahab hates him.  "... I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad," Ahab says in I Kings 22:8.

Here is the story as it appears in I Kings 22:1-28, according to the New International Version:
1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. 2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gileadbelongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?” 
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?” 
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.” 
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” 
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” 
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” 
8 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.” 
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied. 
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.” 
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 11 Now Zedekiahson of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’” 
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” 
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” 
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” 
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?” 
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” 
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord? 
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’” 
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?” 
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ 
“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 
22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. 
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. 
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ 
23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked. 
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.” 
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’” 
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
In the following verses of chapter 22, we read that King Ahab does indeed die (and all the prophesies about the "dogs licking his blood" come true too).

What an amazing story of a man with guts!  Here are a few conclusions I draw from this story:

1. Seek God personally!
Through prayer and reading the Word, Micaiah knew what it was the Lord would have him do and say.  In humble, quiet meditation, God will reveal His Truth to you just as He did to Micaiah.  Then, you must be obedient to Him - just like the prophet was - when He calls you to action.

Micaiah obviously knew their would be punishment, much less humiliation, if he prophesied the truth in front of all 400 prophets, two kings, not to mention the entire assembly that was there with them in the room.  Micaiah did give into the fear for a brief moment, until Ahab reminded him: “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” (Haha! That part cracks me up!) Micaiah would have never had the strength to speak the Truth had he not spent time seeking God personally. That means he didn't let others seek God for him - like his pastor or elder or deacon. No; Micaiah spent time with the Lord, just like every other prophet did, daily seeking Him.

2. Speak Truth boldly!
After seeking God and discovering His will and desires, Micaiah obeyed God fully by speaking the Truth boldly. If God tells you to stand and speak the Truth - no matter where you are - then do so boldly. If He tells you to pray quietly in the back, then do so with courage and boldness, knowing God is in complete control.

When anyone speaks with boldness, people listen - and then usually get upset. Think about it: Even if you are in a debate with one of your friends about which team will win the game, things will get a little heated. That is because everyone has their own opinions. But here's the thing: Truth is not an opinion. Truth is God and God is Truth. When we speak Truth, we speak the Word of God directly into any given situation.

Micaiah experienced firsthand the bitterness of people who disagreed with the Truth he was speaking. Twice. First Zedekiah, one of the 400 prophets, walked up to Micaiah and slapped him in the face for speaking the Truth - which differed from his opinion. Then, Ahab ordered the guards to put Micaiah in prison and feed him only bread and water. Yet through it all, God's Truth was spoken and His will was accomplished. (If this doesn't get you "fired up" to speak boldly the Truth of God then you might want to stop reading right now and fall on your face in repentance before the Great I Am!)

3. See God work!
There is no doubt you will be hated by someone when you speak the Truth with boldness as we see in the story of Micaiah. Still, watch and see how God's justice and grace are poured out on the lives of the people involved. You may "see" this from your prison cell as Micaiah did, but know that God's message is powerful and always carries conviction - and hope.

Without a doubt, Micaiah is a hero of Truth.

Join us next time to see another one of Truth's Heroes in action and discover what it means to stand up for what's right - no matter what!

This is life beyond the normal.  Are you all in?