A Friend Loves at All Times

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1 KINGS 22:1-53 | ACTS 13:16-41 | PSALM 138:1-8 | PROVERBS 17:17-18

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“There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” 

Could it be that I am the only one who thinks this is funny?  Isn’t that how it is with us sometimes?  We shun the advice of those who tell it to us like it is! 

Well, that is exactly what the king of Israel, Ahab, has to say to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah about the possibility of consulting a prophet in order to receive guidance on whether or not to join forces and go to battle with a neighboring kingdom. 

While Micahiah, the prophet in question advises against it, Ahab’s false prophets recommend it.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  Ahab’s forces are routed, and he is killed in battle, and he dies a disgraceful death as predicted earlier.  He is succeeded by Ahaziah, his son who is no different from himself in that he is also a Baal-worshipper. 

We know already that no good can come from that.  On the other side, we see that Jehoshaphat is succeeded by his son, Jehoram as king of Judah.  It is to be seen how this next generation conducts itself.

In the meantime, we turn to our reading in the book of Acts, and we see that Paul, formerly known as Saul, is now a full-fledged missionary.  Like Peter and Barnabas, Paul also preaches the same message about this man called Jesus Christ. 

Paul says:  26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people. 32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.

He continues with this:  38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: 41“‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’”

Turning now to our psalm for the day, we find one in which the psalmist is unabashed in his song of praise.  May it be that like David, we also raise our voices to echo the very same sentiments even today:

6 Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
though lofty, he sees them from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
with your right hand you save me.
8 The LORD will vindicate me;
your love, LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.

Finally, a most beautiful verse from the book of Proverbs for all time:

17 A friend loves at all times,
   and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.

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