NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR MAY 2, 2021 : TOPIC – SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
NBC Sunday School Lesson
May 2, 2021
MICAIAH: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
Devotional Reading:1 John 3:23-4:3a; Deuteronomy 18:19-22
Lesson Scripture: 1 Kings 22:15-23, 26-28
Background Scripture: 1 Kings 22:1-40
But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me. 1 Kings 22:14
Objectives: By the end of the lesson class members should be able to:
• Explain Micaiah’s source of boldness with which he spoke the truth;
• Discuss how Christians can trust and obey divine authority, even when the civil authority is hostile;
• Make personal commitment to always speak and stand for the truth, even in the face of challenging situations.
Oftentimes, corrupt and wicked leaders ignore the truth that could save them from future troubles. An American writer, William Norman Gregg likened the story of Micaiah and Ahab to the experience of our present-day religious and political leaders. He concluded that, “Genuine principled critics of political corruption aren’t welcome in the Emperor’s court, and they usually have more integrity than to seek a position of that sort in the first place” Many leaders derive pleasure in listening to messages that will suit them rather than the truth for their selfish interest. They intentionally humiliate or even kill anyone who dares say anything against their administration. Such evil practices are also common in Christian organisations. The question is: “Who is a real friend?” Is it the person who tells you what you want to hear or the one who tells you the truth, as received of the Lord?
Micaiah was one of the prophets who God sent to deliver His message to Ahab, the king of Israel. He was truthful, bold, audacious and fearless in his days. He prophesied towards the end of Ahab’s reign in Israel. He told Ahab outrightly not to go to war against Ramoth Gilead. Unfortunately, King Ahab hated him but Micaiah did not compromise, even though his true predictions earned him prison sentence. Finally, it was proven that he is a true prophet of God.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Micaiah’s Resolution 1 Kings 22:14-23
The first few verses of the chapter reveals that there was relative peace between Israel and Syria for a period of three years until Ahab planned to take back Ramoth Gilead from the king of Syria since it belongs to Israel. Consequently, King Ahab wanted King Jehoshaphat to go along with him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Although he initially consented to go with him but later advised King Ahab to seek the LORD’s counsel (vv. 1-5). Unfortunately, having consulted about four hundred prophets on whether to go into battle against Ramoth Gilead or not, they all gave their consent, assuring him of victory (v. 6b). Ahab reluctantly invited Micaiah, whom he hated because of his previous predictions, which were not in his favour. Even though the king’s servant had informed Micaiah how all the prophets have predicted success for the king, he resolved in his heart to say the truth, no matter what. According to verse 14 He said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me” Because King Ahab pressed for the truth in verse 15, Micaiah spoke in derision such that the king knew he was being mocked. However, he presented the true picture as he saw it in a vision. He said, “I saw 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.” (v. 17) By implication, the king will be killed in the expedition, his army will be scattered, and there will be a shameful retreat. Having heard Micaiah, King Ahab justified his earlier claim that Micaiah will never prophesy anything good about him but only bad (v. 18). It is apparent that Ahab was only looking for someone who will tell him good report and not necessarily the truth. Little wonder the Lord said He had put a lying spirit in mouths of the prophets who prophesied victory instead of destruction (v. 22).
It is obvious that Micaiah was a true prophet of God. He was bold and courageous enough to speak to King Ahab only what he heard from God. He had a personal relationship with the LORD who unraveled the spiritual confusion of Israel and the woe that will befall King Ahab. He had no personal agenda as against what the LORD says. He revealed the evil of the lying prophets who were bent on deceiving the king and in turn facilitate his ruin. The admonition for Christians to ‘seek God’s face in all situations’ and ‘be truthful’ became necessary because of the consequences such as defeat, doubt and at the end, destruction. Unlike King Ahab and his prophets who lived in disobedience to God’s word, Christians should be ready to obey in all things and be bold to speak the truth, notwithstanding the circumstance, like Prophet Micaiah who told the truth to King Ahah. Although it was not palatable to the king, this would have saved him from destruction.
1. Why do you think King Jehoshaphat agreed to go to war with King Ahab in the first place without inquiring from the LORD? What lesson does it teach us?
2. What was King Ahab’s greatest error, according to the passage?
B. Micaiah’s Imprisonment 1 Kings 22:26-28
According to verse 23, Micaiah revealed two important truths to King Ahab: (1) How God made his prophets to lie and deceive him (i) God’s decree that he will meet with disaster. Of course, the report did not augur well with King Ahab and his people. In his response, Prophet Zedekiah the son of Kenaanah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him in the face saying, “Since when did the spirit of God leave me and speak to you”? (NLT) Without any intention to fight back, Micaiah expressed his displeasure and said to Zedekiah, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room” (v. 25), where he will seek refuge and this will vindicate Micaiah’s prophetic authority. Then King Ahab ordered him to be returned to prison and fed with the bread of affliction till he returns from the battle probably to punish him more severely or put him to death. However, Micaiah was not troubled; instead, his statement in verse 28 was an assurance that the king will never return except God had not spoken to him. He made everyone a witness to what he had said. Indeed, God honoured His word. King Ahab did not return from the battle alive. He died in the battlefield as the Syrian army shot armour that struck him between the joints of his armour (vv. 34-36). This is a confirmation that whenever God’s prophets speak, their prophecies must come to pass.
Like Micaiah in today’s lesson, the Scripture has record of people who suffered innocently either because they stood for the truth or refused to compromise their faith. However, Christians must remember that God will not leave His children defenseless or unrewarded. Experience has shown that anyone who dares speak against a prophet of God will certainly face consequence King Ahab faced the consequence of disobeying God’s message and His prophet. According to Apostle Paul, if you must suffer, let it be because of your obedience to God and not for wrongdoing (1 Peter 2:18). Christians are encouraged to speak the truth with boldness, especially when we are confident of what God has spoken to us. Even though our lives may be threatened, we should hold on to Him. He will surely vindicate us to shame our enemies.
1. Compare and contrast King Ahab’s authoritarian style of leadership with what most politicians do today.
2. Discuss some likely consequences of telling the truth to wicked leaders.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
• Ask members to mention a major issue they had prayed about before taking action and the result.
• Ask them to share the outcome of a decision they took without seeking God’s guidance first and the consequences.
• Always seek God’s counsel before you act.
• Stand up for Jesus always. Do not compromise your faith.
• Do not entertain fear to stand alone, if what you are standing for is right.
• Always speak the truth in love, humility and with wisdom.
• The wicked will surely be punished