Knowing It Was Wrong, But Wanting An Excuse

In 1 Kings 22, the evil King Ahab is discussing with the godly King Jehoshaphat, the possibility of going to war against the king of Syria.  King Jehoshaphat requests that there be prophets brought forth to help determine if they should go to war.  Around 400 false prophets are gathered (Vs 6) and they all proclaim that the two kings will be victorious over the Syrians.  In light of the affirming word of the false prophets, King Jehoshaphat asks, “Is there not a prophet of The Lord that we might inquire of Him?”  King Ahab states, “There is still one man, Micaiah, but I hate him because he does not prophesy good concerning me, only evil.” (Vs 8)  As Micaiah is brought forward he is told by the summoning messenger what the other prophets had said and is exhorted, “let your word be like the word of one of the others, and speak encouragement.” (Vs 13)  In accordance with the exhortation Micaiah says, “Go and prosper for The Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” (Vs 15)  Hearing the positive affirming word from Micaiah, King Ahab is angry, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” (Vs 16)  Micaiah then delivers the word from God about how the Children of Israel will be scattered without a leader, Ahab will die in the battle.  In spite of the Word from God, King Ahab disguises himself as a common soldier and still goes to battle.
What is interesting is that King Ahab already knew the truth, therefore when Micaiah just went along with the others –  in giving a nice and encouraging word about it all working out well – Ahab knew that Micaiah was not telling the truth.  In his heart Ahab knew what was right and so corrected Micaiah.   Yet King Ahab still goes to battle, knowing that he was following the deception of others, knowing what the truth and the consequences really would be.  Of course he did disguise himself, as he secretly goes into the battle.
Many times we know the truth, we know what is right, we just want others to confirm and agree with us, that our desires or conduct is okay.  So we find a friend or a colleague who will side with us, then we feel we can proceed, even though deep in our heart we know what is wrong and the consequences of our actions.  Sometimes we are like King Ahab, we try to conceal the actions so that others won’t know, we hide the evidence – erasing the files, deleting the history, covering our tracks with little lies – but deep inside we still know it is wrong.  No matter how much we disguise, cover over, get the advice from others, have “legal permission”, or even find some “proof text” from the Bible, we still know that it is wrong.  God has written His law in our hearts and His Spirit convicts us of sin. (John 16:8)
Don’t press into your own desires, they only bring death – even if we have an excuse.  Submit to the warnings of God’s Spirit, yield yourself to The Lord.
Lord Jesus, often we want our ways above anything else, so that we find or make any excuse that we can, to do our own thing.   Lord, forgive us, give us the strength to always do what is right.

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