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bible reading oct 19



Bible reading for October 19. 

1 Kings 22.

"And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, 'There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.' And Jehoshaphat said, 'Let not the king say so.'" (1 Kings 22:8)

THE DRAMA. Sometimes life gets complicated. Why is Jehoshaphat so friendly with Ahab? Why does Micaiah at first not tell the truth? Why does God approve of the lying spirits? In trying to explain this passage I decided to put it in the form of a skit that could be used, say, at a youth meeting:  

Scene I: Ahab's court.

Ahab: "Jehoshaphat, come go to battle with me against Syria."

Jehoshaphat: "OK, I got your back, bro." 

Ahab: "All the prophets say we've got a green light on this. It's victory all the way!"

Jehoshaphat: "Uh, do you have, like, any true prophets of the Lord around here?"

Ahab: "Just Micaiah, but he's always so negative. I want prophets who will tell me good things." 

Jehoshaphat. "Still... can we check?" 

Ahab: <sighs> "OK, somebody go get Micaiah."

Scene II: Ahab's court, a short time later.

Ahab: "Micaiah, should we go up to war against the Syrians?"

Micaiah: "Sure. Go up to the battle and win a big victory."

Ahab: "Stop messing with me! Tell me the truth."

Micaiah: "OK. You all gonna die." 

Ahab: "See, what did I say? Always with the bad news. Put Micaiah in jail until I get back from the battle."

Micaiah: "You ain't coming back." 

Ahab: "I will if I wear a disguise!"

Micaiah: "Just sayin..."

Scene III: In a chariot on the Syrian battlefield.

Ahab: "Nobody knows who I am!"

Jehoshaphat: "Cool disguise, bro. Nice armor, too."

Ahab: "Yikes! A random arrow hit me!"

Jehoshaphat: "I think it's time for me to go home now." 

Scene IV: At a carwash in Samaria.

Worker 1: "Dude, what a mess! Who died in this chariot?"

Worker 2: "Just hose it off, we've got a lot to do today."  

Worker 1: "OK. But where'd all these dogs come from?"  

REVIEWS. Ahab had repeatedly rejected the true counsel of the Lord. He didn't really want truth. The scene in heaven reminds us of Job 1 and 2, where Satan receives permission to test Job. This does not mean that the Lord morally approves of deception (or any evil), but that he allowed those deceiving spirits to deceive those who were rejecting the truth. It was a judgment: "You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless, but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse" (Ps 18:26 NET). God does not delight in evil, but may ordain more evil as the penalty for evil embraced. See, for example, Romans 1, where those who choose sin are given over to more sin (Romans 1:18-32). Big lessons here: 1) Some wicked people may never get at the truth precisely because they do not want the truth (2 Thess 2:9-11).  2) Even Satan and his demons must get permission before they intervene in history (Job 1 & 2).  And 3) even random things (like arrows) are under the Lord's control (v 34; Prov 16:33).   

===============  

1 Thessalonians 5.

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) 

CHILDREN OF THE DAY. The world will continue to pursue earthly peace and security, but in the end sudden and complete destruction will finally arrive. We, on the other hand, know about God's plan for history. We are to live as "children of the day" (what a great phrase!). We are to be alert, watchful, prepared, dressed for spiritual conflict, and living for the Lord.  Paul gives some final words about respect for Christian leaders, being at peace with one another, rejoicing and praying, yielding to the Spirit, abstaining from evil, etc. What a final encouragement he gives here: the Lord himself is at work sanctifying us and he will see the work completed (vv 23-24; cf Phil 1:6). 


Image credit. Photo of Ramses II fighting from a chariot at the Battle of Kadesh with archers, on a relief from Abu Simbel, photo by Warren Lemay on Wikimedia Commons. We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. One recommended resource is NETBible.org, a ministry of bible.org.


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