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April 21 Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 22-2 Kings 1
“I hate him.”
“And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? And 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.”
(1 Kings 22:7-8)
What a good and faithful prophet Micaiah must have been! Ahab, the wicked, reprobate king of Israel, acknowledged that he spoke for God and that he neither courted the favor of the king nor feared his disfavor. Here is a standard by which we may identify faithful prophets in any age or place. Faithful servants of God speak the Word of God. For that, they are commonly hated by wicked men, about whom they can never speak anything good.
Greatness and Failure
As I close the reading of 1st Kings, I am struck with the fact that Solomon was a great man with many failures. The importance of our influence upon those around us is set before us dramatically in the life and reign of Solomon, as it is described in 1 Kings. Chapters 1-11 give us a picture of Solomon’s greatness and glory as the king over all Israel for forty years. Then, chapters 12-22 display the horrible consequences of Solomon’s disobedience upon the kingdom. These chapters set before us the first eighty years of the divided kingdom, a kingdom divided because of the evil influence of Solomon’s life. The key to understanding the last half of 1 Kings is found in God’s Word to Solomon in 1 Kings 11:11.—”Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.”
Still, the message of 1 Kings is Christ, of whom Solomon was in many ways a type. If you read Psalm 72, which was “A Psalm for Solomon,” you will immediately see that the things there spoken of Solomon could only find their fulfillment in Christ, the Prince of Peace.
In the lives of the few faithful servants and prophets of the Lord, raised up to minister in holy things in the midst of general corruption, it is a great blessing to remember that the Lord has not and will not cast away his people whom he foreknew. The promised mercy shall come. The Seed of the woman shall crush the serpent’s head. God will maintain his witnesses in every generation and sustain the light of the gospel in the darkest of times.
Blessed Savior, “thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.” Fix our hearts and minds on you as we in our day behold that which Elijah and your elect remnant beheld in their day, idolatry practiced in your name, the profaning of your holy ordinances, and the despising of your Word by the very people who are responsible to declare it and defend it.
In the sad example of Ahaziah and his captains of fifty, I am reminded of the fact that sin hardens the heart and makes sinners ripe for punishment. How we have earned our wages! But for grace, how justly the fires of hell would forever torment my wretched soul! Had not the mercy of my God intervened, had not the God of all grace interposed himself and stopped me in my mad rush for hell, the endless torments of the damned would be mine today!
Blessed Savior, how I thank you and adore you for your great mercy, love, and grace, for your precious blood, and perfect righteousness so richly and freely bestowed upon me, by which you have redeemed me and saved me from myself! O my God, my great Savior, make me faithful to you!