Just Tell Me What I Want to Hear

“You have wearied the Lord with Your words . . . by saying, ‘All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and He is pleased with them.’” Malachi 2:17

You just don’t want to hear the truth!” my friend told her teenage son. A long summer of rebellion had begun when he started hanging out with someone that had a very negative influence on him. Yet he believed this person was the ultimate, his soul mate and he was unwilling to hear anything to the contrary. Our culture has become very much the same. We are as the nation of Judah in the Old Testament, who told God’s prophets “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions” (Isaiah 30:10). Paul saw the same thing when he warned Timothy, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Can anyone doubt that “the time has come” (emphasis mine)? Our world today does not want to be told “this is wrong,” or “this is right;” “this is false,” or “this is true.”

There is a very interesting story in 1 Kings 22:1-28; the evil king of Israel, Ahab, and the godly king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, were preparing to join together in battle against Israel’s enemy. Jehoshaphat asked that they seek God’s wisdom on the matter before they set out. Four hundred ungodly prophets agreed that victory was guaranteed, but the godly king wanted a godly perspective, and so the prophet Micaiah was called up. He was advised to agree with the 400, but vowed to only speak what the Lord directed. At first, he sarcastically joined their proclamation, but when he indeed spoke the truth against Israel, and prophesied death for the king, Ahab was furious.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. Micaiah said that the Lord planned to entice the evil and godless king Ahab into war and to his death by “a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets” (1 Kings 22:22). Now, before you get worked up over God’s actions against Ahab, remember that Ahab had turned against God and followed his wife Jezebel to worship her pagan gods. Isaiah 21: 25 says “Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife incited him.” Ahab chose the evil ways of his wife, and now he must face the consequences.

Without question, we are living in a godless society. Our culture has no place or desire for God, but shouts at His prophets today “Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One.” (1saiah 30:11; emphasis mine). Rather, the world has exalted those who tell them “what their itching ears want to hear.” They endorse sin and every behavior that God’s word has called an abomination. As our key verse says, they approve of – and even celebrate – what is evil; and worse yet, claim that God has put His stamp of approval on it. They are putting godless words in the mouth of the Holy God. Jeremiah confronted it in his day saying, “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land; The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way” (Jeremiah 5:31; emphasis mine). The world today is looking for someone who will tell them what they want to hear. Unfortunately they only want to hear lies. “Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it” (Jeremiah 6:10).

Here’s the most shocking part of all of this: it’s not just happening “out there” – in the world. It’s happening in the churches, among people who have identified themselves as Christians. All of these verses were written to and about the nation of Israel who considered themselves to be God’s chosen people. They had decided that they could blend in other “gods” with the One True God; to continue to call on God for His provision and protection, while giving themselves over to idolatry and sensuous pagan worship. You know, make an offering to appease the Lord on the Sabbath and head to the pagan temple to “worship” with the temple prostitutes. God’s cool with that, right? Wrong.

God alone is the Lord. He is not be one god among many, not even the highest God among the lesser gods. He alone is God. Jesus is the one and only way to God the Father; not one way among many, or even the best way. He alone is the Son of God and the salvation of all mankind. He alone is “The Way, The Truth, and The Life” (John 14:6). God’s Word is the truth, not a good book of humanitarian wisdom among many books, not even the best among the rest. It is truth. And God’s truth is not subject to amendment by man. What God had declared to be right is still right and what he has declared to as sin is still sin, no matter what the culture decides.

My friend, I beg you, do not allow yourself to be deceived by the world, who has been deceived by Satan. Know God for who He has declared Himself to be. Know the salvation of the Lord, which comes only through His Son, Jesus Christ. Know the truth, His Holy Word. Don’t allow yourself to be lead into the darkness, but stay in the light of Christ. There is a way that is right and true, that leads to eternal life. Jesus is that Way. No other path will get you home.

Holy Father, my heart is so heavy for all those who have been lead away from You by the lies of the world and the enemy.  God, please make us people who know the truth that sets us free.  Please make us beacons of light in this dark world so that others may find their way to Jesus. Amen

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