Here are my notes on Jon’s talk tonight, Ivy MCR Grow Groups are welcome to use them for your meetings too.
Jon Hancock is a BBC TV producer who has been at Ivy about a year, the family moved up with the Beeb move to Media City etc.
Jon talked about our journey as a church recently and the symbolism of that:
Meeting at Gorton Monastery, reclaiming that place.
Then the Trafford Centre where so many ‘worship’ every day.
NOW we’re off to the Vue Cinema near Media City: We’re moving all over the city worshipping Jesus in these strategic and symbolic places!
Please pray for this next move!! Can you provide lifts etc – contact the office please.
Study: 1 Kings 22
Looking at it from a TV producer point of view – this is a very interesting story…
There’s a ‘OH NO!” – Fist in mouth – ‘I can’t believe he did that’ moment in this story – look out for it.
King Jehosophat – at heart, one of the good guys. Wanted to restore the nation back to God, but a bit weak willed
King Ahab (booo!!!). Loved to go to war a bit too much. married to Jezebel, a very bad sort.
Micaiah – this is the only time we hear of him in scripture.
1 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. 2 But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”
4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?”
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.”
Now Ahab’s desire may or may have been the right thing, but it could have just been a rush of blood. Jehosophat wants to consult God.
Ahab then called in a non – prophet organisation (Rentaprophet) who’d say what he wanted to hear.
6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?”
What does this remind you of?! A spoilt brat of a monarch, with people sucking up all around, like Queenie on Black Adder. Jon showed a fabulous clip.
8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “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.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the LORD says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”
12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.”
13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”
14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.”
15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.” (? Was he being sarcastic?)
16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’
22 “‘By what means?’ the LORD asked.
“‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’
23 “So now the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”
That by the way, was the ‘fist in mouth – I can’t believe he said that’ moment!
24 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”
In other words, ‘Stuff you – I’m not bothered – I’ll do it anyway.’
Question: Are you aware of shaking off what God has said in the past – how has that worked out?
28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”
29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
(Gutsy! Great plan! But it didn’t work out how he thought)
31 Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out, 33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.
34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. 36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”
37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there. 38 They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the word of the LORD had declared.
What can we take away from this amazing story: questions to ponder and discuss:
- Do we consult God – at all? Enough?
- Do we ask the right people?
- Do we just follow the crowd like the RentaProphets?
If you have something to say – even if you’re right, there’s a way to say it and a way not to – is Micaiah somewhat too sarcastic and cutting?
Do you have to give it/ say it? Had this prophet been so negative in the past he could no longer deliver the word of the Lord because it’s not just the words but the heart – ‘grace AND truth.’
Is it your place?
Do we sit on it long enough to digest it or just spit it out without chewing it over?
Two major themes:
CONSEQUENCES & REPUTATION.
Re the Riots that have been going on – how many of those involved were only thinking of the ‘now’ moment – and not aware that there are consequences. Every decision has consequences.
There were consequences for Ahab’s choices throughout his life, despite MANY warnings. He closed his mind and heart.
There were consequences for Micaiah. Maybe he spent the rest of his life in prison!
There are consequences for those caught – in terms of reputation.
Ahab had a reputation as a tough king.
Micaiah had a rep as one who’d speak the truth, even when the truth hurt. What do you want a reputation for?
We are writing a story.
You are writing the story of your life.
You are the co-author with God of that story.
What are you writing?
Quote: ‘You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.’
You have more chapters to write! You have not reached the end of your story!
‘Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.’ (African proverb).