We are quick to scorn the critic as the troublesome devil sent to frustrate noble constructions. A culture of silent acceptance of the ridiculous can slowly emerge until someone is bold to declare “the emperor has no clothes” to the chagrin of many. I have discovered that where the humility to say “I may be wrong” is lacking or avenues for listening and making changes are stifled, a terrifying darkness and silence takes over. Both spiritually and even physically. We come to accept stagnation, evil and corruption as the norm as though these are indeed unavoidable not recognising that these are outcomes of deliberate choices associated with our decisions.
Jezebel rules with Ahab as the puppet … supported by the priesthood of Baal. He has a neighbor Naboth who we can conclude knew the Lord – for he declares “The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my father’s unto thee” … Ahab, though the King, does not care much for the ways of God. It is not unlikely that Naboth had at other instances expressed other sentiments that challenged the incursion of the Baalist syncretism. No surprise Jezebel hated Naboth and could only rest in the satisfaction that he had been permanently silenced. The rest is narrated in I Kings 21 and Naboth is soon trapped, discredited and skillfully eliminated. Israel is plunged into even greater darkness. Jezebel laughs. Years later dogs will lick her bones.
In another scenario, Daniel pleads politely to Nebuchadnezzar …”let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility…” Daniel is ignored and twelve complete months pass as God does nothing waiting for Daniel’s counsel to be slowly ingested. After twelve months Nebuchadnezzar is transformed to a walking beast.
There is a scenario where the counsel of God was accepted. The unwilling Jonah after much persuasion is before the Ninevites and somewhat incoherently declares …”Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown…” The Ninevites understand immediately …they believe and proclaim a fast and change their ways. God spares them and Nineveh is not overthrown. Light comes to Nineveh.
The voice of one saying this is wrong is often the voice of a helper. God will often use vehicles we are set to despise to bring His most pivotal admonitions. Remember the rich man in hell asking that someone be sent to warn others about the eternal fire … but God reminds the rich man of the different messengers including the beggar at his door who must have irritated him so many times with divine thoughts on salvation, judgment and hell. We all love to heap to ourselves and be surrounded with people like us … too timid or fallen to see the light or pronounce the truths that sets free. Do not be quick to exclude the voice you do not wish to hear. But if you must – you will not be the first.
I Kings 22:17-18 “And he (Micaiah) said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd; and the Lord said, These have no master; Let them return every man to his house in peace. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?”
Micaiah is slapped and thrown into prison … meanwhile Micaiah has also told them that he saw lying spirits sent by the Lord to many other prophets to appease the king and lead him to his destruction. I Kings 22:20- 24. He is proven right.
Those who give counsel must do so not in pride but with tact making counsel and corrections easy to bear. Still, it is wise to have an ear that is tuned to receive critical counsel. Learn to hear God warning you to change and respond even when the voices come in irritant chords. Leaders overly sensitive to criticism are soon enamored and eventually ruined by flattery. Reflect on the following videos. Pray for leaders as you watch the video below. Lord, let there be light in the nations. Amen