I don’t know if you’ve made up your mind already regarding the candidate you’d like to run for President of the United States, or if you are watching the debates, debating the pros and cons of the candidates in the race. Either way, the upcoming election should matter to all of us. The issue shouldn’t be WHO is going to be leading our country, but WHERE they plan to lead us and will we want to follow them?
In 1 Kings 22, we meet a man who is a sterling example of leadership every person, parent, pastor, politician and president would be wise to follow. His name is Micaiah, one of God’s prophets.
In 2 Chronicles 18:1-27, Ahab, King of Israel and Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, asked the “people-pleasing, professional prophets” whether they should invade Ramoth-gilead, and the false prophets told Ahab what he wanted to hear. Jehoshaphat wasn’t satisfied and asked for a second opinion. He asked if “there was a prophet of the Lord they could inquire of?” So they brought in Micaiah. When Micaiah stood before the kings to advise them on their battle plans, he told them what God had said and both men were instantly offended.
Four things stand out from this Old Testament Prophet:
- Micaiah chose CHARACTER over CONFORMITY. Unlike the paid professionals, the pragmatic prophets of Ahab, Micaiah held firmly to his integrity and relied on God. 1 Kings 22:13 makes it clear he was pressured to conform to the proclamations of the counterfeit prophets. But Micaiah was absolutely resolute and unwilling to do it. In the next verse he makes it clear, “I have to say what the Lord says, period!”
- Micaiah chose CONVICTION over COMPROMISE. The King’s messenger sent to summon Micaiah to the royal court advised him to “go along, to get along.” “Don’t make waves.” “Don’t rock the boat.” The implication was, if Micaiah did agree, he might be able to join the well-heeled, well-groomed and well off professional prophets of Ahab’s palace. He could climb up several rungs on the ladder of success. But Micaiah and his convictions weren’t for sale. No price would convince him to compromise. He was determined to do and say what was right, regardless of the outcome.
- Micaiah chose COMMITMENT over COST. He was verbally, and even physically, attacked by Ahab’s prophets for being a man of honesty and integrity. Truth is, when you stand for your convictions and refuse to compromise, you’re going to take some shots, verbally and sometimes, even physically. Micaiah decided he would keep his commitments regardless of the cost.
- Micaiah chose CONSEQUENCE over COMFORT. In an apparent attempt to manipulate God, Ahab sentenced Micaiah to prison until the King returned safely from the battle (1 Kings 22:26-27). Micaiah sealed his own fate when he refused to back down from saying Israel would be defeated in battle and Ahab would be killed. How? Because he knew Ahab would never return. God had said so. Which meant Micaiah would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Talk about a leader you can follow. Micaiah is a magnificent example every leader, at every level in society, could and should learn from.
So where are the leaders worth following today? Those who will choose character rather than conformity, conviction rather than compromise, commitment rather than cost, and consequence rather than comfort? Where are the Micaiah’s of our day?
If we could find a leader like him, someone who would follow God no matter what, that’s a leader we can follow.
Let’s pray we find one.
© 2015. Barry L. Cameron.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Today, more than 8,000 people call Crossroads their church home. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.