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Monday, February 17, 2014

Persecution: Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:37, “…persecuted, tormented—”.

When asked to bring forth a prophet to confirm the word of the Lord, King Ahab of Israel reluctantly acknowledged Micaiah. Then added, “but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.”2 Chronicles 18:26

The prophet once again spoke the words the Lord gave and Ahab angrily ordered Micaiah to prison, to be fed sparingly until his safe return. To which the prophet added, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” I can’t help but consider the prophet’s answer had a touch of dry irony to it, yet regardless of tone he continued to speak the truth, no matter the consequences. He fully acknowledged his own capacity for error while affirming the undeniable truth of God’s words. And he stood firm on God’s words—willing to accept dire outrage.

What a contrast to the king who kept insisting Micaiah change his words to please him and refusing to listen to truth. So set on his own desires that he willfully chose to react with persecution over honest petition for direction.

Persecution seems a little beyond our own reactions to negative feedback, but is it? How often do we accuse others of malice or envy or misunderstanding or self-serving intent when we receive negative replies? Especially when we have sought out counsel. We may not actually say the words out loud; yet internally argue to mask our refusal to accept truth.

Lord, please give us integrity of heart to choose to listen and speak Your words, instead of refusing them for self-interest.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 111:10

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;
His praise endures forever.”

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