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Br Rd Don't put out the Spirit's fire - 8 June 03 PM_3

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PART THREE   : AHAB – DISMISSIVE OF GOD’S WORD

The story is told in 1 Kings 22 and the parallel passage in Chronicles

 

7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can enquire of?”

8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can enquire 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 that,” Jehoshaphat replied.

Although AHAB was one of the evil kings – God still sent His Spirit to guide Him.

The difference though between SAUL and AHAB and DAVID and AHAB is clear and unambiguous:

Ahab rejected God’s word even though he gave lip service to the principal of listening .

 

As SAMUEL had been for SAUL

and NATHAN had been for DAVID

the lesser known prophet

MICAIAH was for AHAB

But it was doomed from the outset.   Ahab is an expert at putting out the Spirit’s fire!

He will use all the strategies available to him:

Listen and disobey

Walk away and leave it

Snuff it out with a word of ridicule.

If SAUL is a DISAPPOINTMENT

If David is a DELIGHT

Ahab is                              DOOMED

Whereas SAUL accepted the Word of God – even though he disobeyed it

Whereas DAVID accepted the Word of God – but ignored it for a moment

AHAB COMPLETELY DISMISSED IT

But that didn’t mean he did not hear it!

This was the man who had stood gloating in NABOTH’s VINEYARD when God sent Elijah to speak to him – and he recognised the message too!

We are not talking about someone who DOESN’T HEAR – we are talking of someone who REJECTS OUT OF HAND

1.     He recognised the need for a word

 

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.”

And when Jehoshaphat recognises that these are TAME PROPHETS Ahab agrees that there is one prophet who will give a true word –

2.     He recognises a true word when it is given

 

8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can enquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

Give him his due – he doesn’t beat about the bush. He recognises the fire of the Spirit – even though he intends to snuff it out!

I hate him ….

Ahab was altogether CHOOSY about his prophets.   (Jeremiah later on had the unenviable task of trying to get through to a people who wanted to hear – but only on their terms!)

3.     He expects the word to be judgmental

Even when Micaiah gives the “required response” – Ahab knows:

15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”

“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?”

4.     The bottom line is DISOBEDIENCE

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

But it doesn’t work – and an arrow shot by chance pierces his armour fatally.

For such a man as Ahab the word is always of judgement – for his heart is set against God – he is the greatest “extinguisher” of all.

What do we learn from these?  DOOMED – DISAPPOINTING – DELIGHT?

a.     That those who have left God out of their lives ignore His word at         their peril.

 

Ahab has many representatives in the world around us.  Attracting the many voices that seek to please the lives committed to godlessness. But coming at last under the judgement of God

b.     That there are those like SAUL who have religion – but only in part –   for whom      the Word of God seems an optional extra.  But even there         REPENTANCE is possible.

 

Beware the temptation to usurp the Holy Spirit’s authority. Beware the temptation to re-interpret His words.

 

c.     We who recognise the value of the Spirit’s ministry – must be         constantly alert – for Satan – and our own human sinful nature

        will make us put out the flame – and hazard our joy and our peace.

 

DON’T PUT OUT THE SPIRIT’S FIRE!

 

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are proved right when you speak

and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; a

you teach a me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

 


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a The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.

a Or you desired . . . ; / you taught

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