And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the Lord.” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?” II Chronicles 18:4-6 ESV
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. II Timothy 4:3-4 ESV
Barbara was a very popular girl in the school, but she wasn’t good at math. Annie wasn’t very popular, and she wanted Barbara to be her friend. She told Barbara she would help her with math. However, when Barbara got any practice problems wrong, Annie didn’t want her to feel bad or maybe not like her. So Annie always told her that she had gotten all the answers right. When Barbara had to take a test at school, she got a low grade. Annie had told her what she wanted to hear instead of the truth, and that didn’t really help Barbara at all!
Ahab’s prophets were doing the same thing. He wanted to go into battle, but Jehoshaphat wanted to check with the Lord first and see what his word to them was. Ahab called all his prophets, and they all told Ahab what he wanted to hear. They didn’t tell him the truth, but instead they told him that God would give him victory. They wanted to please the king and keep their jobs as his prophets. Jehoshaphat felt like something was wrong, and he asked if there was another prophet who could speak to them.
Even today, people often speak in God’s name but tell others what they want to hear instead of the truth. We don’t want to hear that we are sinful and that God calls on us to change our behavior, so sometimes these speakers say that certain sinful actions are actually not a problem for God. We also want to hear that we can be rich and healthy and happy and won’t have any problems, so sometimes people will say that if we follow some easy rules, God will make everything in our lives wonderful. These are things we like to hear, but they are lies.
How can we tell if people are lying to us in God’s name? We have to look at what the Bible teaches and see how their words line up with the Bible. It can seem wonderful to hear only the things we want to hear, but then we miss out on the truth. God has some wonderful truths for us. We are sinful, but he sent Jesus to die for our sins. We have his forgiveness and love every day because of Jesus. We will have problems and sadness in this world, but God promises that he will be with us always to help and comfort us. God’s truth for us is much better than any lie!
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to always listen to and know the truth so that we never lose sight of Jesus. In His Name, Amen.