«I fa ruler pays attention to lies, all his servants become wicked» (Proverbs 29:12).
Ahab was king of Israel for twenty-two years. His court was full of advisors who flattered the monarch and only told him what he wanted to hear. So, since the ruler didn’t tolerate bad news, his officials became experts in lying to him. They gave him false reports of royal finances, the army’s situation or the nation’s social problems. In that fake bubble, Ahab thought he was an extraordinary head of state.
One day, Ahab invited Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to attack Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat accepted, but asked his counterpart to seek God’s advice. A supposed prophet immediately came and predicted an overwhelming victory over their enemies. However, the king of Judah insisted on seeking a prophet of God to heed him. Ahab’s reply was very enlightening, «There is still one man by whom we may in. quire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla» (2 Chronicles 18:7). My, what a reply! The king of Israel only wanted to hear favorable words, even if they were lies! In the end, they sent for Micaiah with the following warning: «Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Therefore please let your word be like the word of one of them» (2 Chronicles 18:12). However, the prophet conveyed a message that warned the king not to go out and fight. Ahab was upset with what he heard and went out to battle with Jehoshaphat. To make matters worse, the king of Israel dressed up like a soldier to enter into combat. In the midst of battle, he was struck by an arrow that had been shot at random and it ended his life.
Leaders who only want to hear good news promote corruption among the people they’re in charge of. Living in the midst of lies to please the boss ends up ruining any business. Sometimes the truth may be harsh, but it’s always necessary.
The way we receive bad news reveals our character. Not everything in life has to be favorable. We should learn to face adversity and challenging times with courage, strength and persistence.
Ask the Lord today to help you hear both good and bad news wisely and to rise to the occasion when reacting to them.