Christian ministry, be it full time or part time, can be very dangerous. Allow me to share two incidents with you to prove what I am saying.
(1) Outside the church where I pastored for many years I saw two beaten up VW Beetle’s parked for weeks. On either side of each car at the backseat rear windows was a sign … “For Sale” with a cellphone number, different for each one. Not only was this unsightly, I smelt a rat. After doing some investigation, including taking pictures, I realized these were drug decoy numbers. The kingpin became aware I was researching these vehicles and came into the church property and in front of a witness threatened to kill me, but leave the church and congregation alone. I immediately took a picture of him and sent all pictures with descriptions to the then Minister of Police who actioned immediate raids. This man was on bail for murder, theft and dealing in drugs. He was re-arrested.
(2) On another occasion, tow truck drivers were making a noise in their drunken state outside the church property disturbing our ministry. When I asked them to quiet down a little they became unruly with one driving right through the closed gate trying to ride me over and kill me. Once the police arrived and arrested him he was repentant, especially at court. We ended the case with him doing necessary repairs and apologizing in writing.
Others have had far worse experiences … but the fact remains, ministry could be dangerous, not just preaching about heaven and hell but standing firm in society for Gospel morality. In our studying about the prophet Micaiah and even Elijah before that, we have seen how dangerous serving God can be if one is going to stand firm on God’s Word without compromising to please society and especially leaders, be it kings, presidents or political leaders. Now we already know what happened to the wicked king Ahab. He dies the way God said He would.
1Ki 22:34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.
Naturally this was not a random arrow. It was God-directed. Now let’s go backwards a little and return to prophet Micaiah, God’s man.
Micaiah Was Persecuted For His Courage by Telling the Truth
It’s rather phenomenal how the wicked stand with the wicked because they live in an evil pocket.
1Ki 22:24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Miciah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
Although the slap in the face is serious showing danger, there is something far worse here … blasphemy! He assumed the evil spirit putting lies into their mouths was the Holy Spirit. Look what he had said and done
1Ki 22:11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the LORD says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’
Remember what happened? The Arameans killed Ahab. How do we test a prophet to be true or false? We see whether what they say comes true or not! Failure proves falsehood! He was one with all the others. This is a real issue today with many believing their words are from God’s Spirit but in reality are from the evil one and when challenged with the Truth they became dangerous enemies for not only are they a threat to the Truth, they blaspheme God!
Micaiah Was Imprisoned For His Faithfulness in Telling the Truth
1Ki 22:26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison …”
The city ruler and the king’s son … they would insure Micaiah would be locked away deep in the prison … by the order of the wicked king. Once again, this is quite common in our day … many precious children of God doing faithful mission work in “closed” countries, when caught are locked up because they preach Christ crucified! As God’s people we ought to pray regularly for missionaries, especially those in the 10 / 40 window.
Micaiah Was Afflicted for Displeasing a Wicked King
1Ki 22:27 “… and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.”
Prison was one thing … a measly diet of bread and water was another thing! Often missionaries in prison for the gospel are treated like this. In some countries no food or toiletries are provided. I recall praying for Christians in prison where the church, which was permitted under strict conditions, would collect food and toiletries for them. This is another important prayer item for us.
Micaiah Remained Faithful to God to the Very End
1Ki 22:28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” Micaiah believed God spoke through him because God had!
This is where the true prophet comes to the fore! He says to Ahab that if he returns from the war safely God never spoke through him! That is what trusting the Lord and His Word is all about. To everyone present he literally says … “judge my words!” That is faith in God’s Word and that is what we need today. We need men and women who love and trust God’s Word to the point that they will give their lives for the Gospel. What is the use of a preacher or missionary who does not believe what they preach? Jesus said:
Jn 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
The greatest asset any pastor, preacher, evangelist or missionary has is believing the Bible to be God’s inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word because once you believe this, you have all the power for the Holy Spirit to use you in ministry.
Our Glorious Lord and Father thank You for all pastors, evangelists and missionaries. Mercifully protect them from harm, danger, persecution and death. For those in prison, graciously help them as they suffer for the gospel. Instill within all Christians the absolute Truth of Your Word, we pray in Jesus Name. Amen.