At Vacation Bible School this year, we had a chance to explore four stories from the Bible that emphasized the essential characteristics of goodness, courage, truthfulness and kindness. We learned goodness from the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. We were reminded of David’s courage as he battled Goliath. We were challenged to show the kindness that several men showed when they brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. These stories are pretty familiar to us. We have been taught them in Bible classes and in sermons throughout the years. Their stories encourage and challenge us are we are reminded of their truths time and time again.
One of the stories this year taught us about the importance of speaking with truth. This is such an important lesson to learn in the world in which we live. We live in the era of “fake news”. Many politicians regularly lie with little to no remorse or regret. In fact, we are often told “that’s just the way life is! Sometimes, you have to lie to get ahead!” This isn’t true (a lie about lying!) but we are told this nonetheless. That is why I’m glad we were reminded of the importance of truth telling by the story of Micaiah in 1 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18. It’s a story that we don’t share very often. Micaiah’s story isn’t preached about regularly, and I don’t remember hearing it in any of my Bible classes while I was growing up. Micaiah is mentioned in these two chapters and then fades from the pages of scripture. You won’t find him mentioned in the “heroes of faith” in Hebrews 11 or in any other passage in Scripture. He makes a stand for the truth and then he vanishes from the pages of God’s story. At the end of his story, he is in prison. We don’t even find out if he is released, even though Jewish tradition holds that he was executed. He appears, teaches us a much-needed lesson about the importance of speaking truth in the most difficult of circumstances, and fades out.
Micaiah made a stand for God and a stand for truth. He knew his truth telling could lead to his death, but he knew he had to speak God’s truth. In front of a paranoid, evil king, Micaiah spoke with courage and boldness while knowing that his message would surely lead to his imprisonment and possibly to his death. Yet, he didn’t’ waver. He didn’t soften the message. He didn’t tell King Ahab what he wanted to hear. He spoke the truth. He spoke God’s truth. A truth that needs to always be spoken especially in the current culture of dishonesty and subterfuge in which we find ourselves.
Micaiah’s story reminds us that when God’s people stand for what is right and live like they should, it is noticed by others. Micaiah didn’t make his stand for the truth because it was going to be recorded in the Bible. He didn’t do what he did because he knew we would be reading about him thousands of years later. (He had no way of knowing his story would ever be mentioned in the Bible or that the Bible would even be written!) Instead, he made a stand for truth because he was honoring and pleasing God by obeying Him. He spoke truth because of his desire to be holy before God and because he was a man of integrity. His stand for the truth blesses us thousands of years later and half a world away.
As we live in Shelbyville and/or Bedford county in our day and age, we are living a story that is being seen by others. It’s a story that will be shared by others in the years to come. It’s a story that our children and grandchildren will share with their families and friends. What is your story revealing? What will your impact and legacy be? We might not be in the Bible but our stories matter, nonetheless, and they are either glorifying God and drawing others to Him or they are detracting from His glory and leading others from Him. What story are you telling? What is your impact and legacy? What witness are you sharing with the generation in which you live?
I’m thankful for Micaiah and his stand for the truth and his story that has impacted our lives. May our stories also impact others around us and remind them of God’s love for them, His desire to be their Father and the importance of living a life that honors Him.