Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sarcasm and Preaching

If you enjoy snarky, I have found your role model. If sarcasm is your thing (to deliver or to receive) then Micaiah is your guy. His story is found in 1 Kings 22.

The story involves King Ahab, who has to be the poster-child for retarded kings of Israel. (I may devote a whole week to Ahab just to fit in all his shortcomings.) King Ahab is teaming up with King Jehoshaphat to attack the Arameans. They get the 400 whatever-you-say prophets of Israel to give God's blessing on the mission. But King Jehoshaphat sees that they're a bunch of weasels, so he asks for a true prophet. Enter Micaiah.

Micaiah is encouraged to go with the flow. It's at this point that I'd love to see the interaction on YouTube. Words do not do this scene justice, but picture this; Micaiah enters the room where both kings are waiting and he repeats the refrain form the other 400 prophets, "Attack and be victorious for the Lord will give it into the king's hand" (1 Kings 22:15b).

Ahab's reaction to Micaiah is not kind, showing us that Micaiah was speaking quite sarcastically. Then Micaiah deals the harsh truth. In essence he tells Ahab that it doesn't matter what he says, Ahab will ignore the word from God and go to his death in battle. Ahab has Micaiah thrown in jail until he returns safely from battle. But before being hauled off to a life of bread and water, Micaiah gives one last warning to everyone within earshot; 'Maybe you're hard of hearing Ahab. You're not coming back alive. Everyone be warned. Can I get my bread toasted?'

Micaiah is my new hero.

Read 1 Kings 22. You'll see that Ahab dies and Micaiah's word from God is found to be true. I'm not looking into getting any heads of state killed in war, but I do like to deliver truth. If people won't listen to it one way, then maybe they'll listen to it another.

I could see this becoming my preaching tool of choice. As people cower, I'll say something similar to an old western or 70's cop show, 'We can do this the easy way, or the sarcastic way.' But take the posthumous advice from Ahab, 'Better listen to that truth.'

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