The Bible is full of so much information and so many stories that it’s impossible to run out of relevant lessons for life regardless of how many times you read it. Maybe that’s why many residents here at The Gardens at Barry Road enjoy reading it over and over. There are so many wise kings, humble servants and faithful prophets, each with their own things to teach us—but with so many to choose from, it can be easy to lose track of the lessons that are only mentioned briefly.
Some of those come from the prophet Micaiah. Micaiah is only mentioned in a few places, mostly in the books of Kings and Chronicles. But these stories provide an abundance of lessons for seniors living in an assisted living community.
The main story about the prophet Micaiah tells of his interaction with Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and Ahab, the king of Israel. The two kings were discussing going to battle against Ramoth-gilead and were asking all of the prophets whether God would be with them or not. All of the prophets were assuring them of victory, with the exception of one—Micaiah. Micaiah assures them of their destruction and delivers the genuine word of God.
What’s really interesting is that prior to the kings asking Micaiah, Ahab actually tells Jehoshaphat that he doesn’t want to ask Micaiah because he doesn’t like him. Ahab says Micaiah only tells him bad things and he doesn’t want to hear what he has to say.
Everyone is known for something; Micaiah was known for his walk with God. In fact, it’s the reason they sought him out to begin with. According to the story, the kings had already consulted with 400 other prophets, yet they still wanted to know what Micaiah would say because they knew that he genuinely walked with God. As a member of an assisted living community, you can foster this relationship with others by showing that you too have a close walk with Him.
Part of the reason for being in a community like ours is for the assistance we can provide, but that’s not limited to the staff. You can be a pillar of the community to your fellow residents and provide meaningful assistance to them in many ways simply by being known for your relationship to God and shining that light for others.
The other 400 prophets had clearly told the kings what they wanted to hear, and the kings probably knew it. You don’t go through 400 prophets because you think they’re telling you the truth; you keep asking others because you know you’re being lied to. When they got to Micaiah, they knew that he spoke the truth.
It takes resolve to be the one to tell two kings a different opinion than what 400 other people already told them. It’s not easy to tell people something that you know they don’t want to hear. However, even though they might not like it, most will respect and appreciate you for it. Being able to be that person for your friends, family or community isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.
An important part of this story is that there was already a relationship between Ahab and Micaiah. Ahab doesn’t like Micaiah because he never tells him anything good. He essentially complains that he never tells him what he wants to hear.
It seems that Micaiah knows that Ahab doesn’t like him for this reason, so he knows he will end up disregarding what he says. Because of this, he just tells him what the others have said at first. The way the story reads, it seems there may have been an element of sarcasm in what Micaiah said, because Ahab tells him that he wants Micaiah to tell him the truth. He even tells him to swear to do so. It is at this point that Micaiah gives the real prophecy.
Unfortunately, this type of scenario happens often in our lives today.
Some people come to you knowing that what they desire is not something right. They come hoping that by some miracle, they get the answer they want. These people may still follow their own heart and not what you tell them, but it is still important that you tell them even though they don’t want to hear it. As people of faith, our job is to tell the truth regardless of what others might do with it. That’s what Micaiah did.
These are just some examples of lessons people like the prophet Micaiah can teach us, and one of the reasons that God has provided them to us. In examples like this, we can see ways to live as well as ways not to live. God provides us with these examples to help guide us along our path at various stages. He gives us these lessons to help us with our life of faith.
Living a life of faith isn’t always the way we think it will be. God puts us where He wants us, and it’s up to us to act accordingly. But if you follow the same path as the people who’ve come before, people like Micaiah, you at least know you’re following the right footsteps.