It isn’t everyday that I write about an odd story in the Bible but that’s what I’m doing today!
College was an important time for my spiritual development. As many of my Theta Chi fraternity brothers can attest, I was convinced that I knew it ALL and had ALL the answers….because I went by “God’s Word!” There were many Christian books about ‘knowing God’s Word” that I was attracted to because of the stage of life I was in (young college student searching). I assumed, ‘if only I knew the Bible better then life would all make sense!’
In the Bible, there is a story about a King who also believed he would be better off if he knew exactly what God’s word was. He was making military decision and he asked his prophets if he should go to war? Remember, a prophet is someone who ‘speaks for God.’ The King’s prophets all said that God would grant the victory but then another prophet named Micaiah said NO WAY! He claimed that God sent a misleading spirit in order to bait the King into a deadly war. The King ignored the prophet Micaiah’s deceptive spirit theory and went to war anyway. Then the battle began and the King was killed shortly after! Here is the story:
And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’” ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. ” ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ “So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.” – 1 Kings 22:20-23
In this story we see that the King was given God’s ‘word’ but the King didn’t have God’s support. Sure, he knew exactly what ‘God said’ but he was missing a very important component. God was not on his side because he was a crooked guy. How could God support a corrupt King?
It is important to study the Bible and become familiar with God’s Word but that doesn’t always mean that we are closely connected with God. Many people claim to know God’s Word. They might be super smart, intellectual and act like they have it all together but they could also be corrupt. Hiding behind the Bible or ‘God’s word’ has been happening for thousands of years. It is an ancient practice that has been mastered by many. Eventually, the phony-facade wears off and the real you shines through.
My fraternity brothers were very annoyed with my attitude. Sure, I was able to recite Bible passages but they wanted to see more. Knowing the Bible ‘intellectually’ has its limitations. Have you ever been caught in the trap of ‘if only I knew the Bible better?’ Or perhaps, you’ve known people who might be able to site so many Bible verses by memory but they are lacking compassion or grace? Shouldn’t one lead to the other? What are your thoughts?