Is it You, You Troubler of Israel?
But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” (2 Chronicles 18:6-7)
When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. (1 Kings 18:17-18)
Wicked King Ahab hated the godly prophet Micaiah. And Ahab hated Elijah as well. Why? Because both of these prophets spoke the truth. God’s truth. Notice that Ahab knew full well that these prophets were indeed prophets of God and what they said was in fact God’s Word. Didn’t matter. Ahab was evil. Ahab didn’t want light. So he imprisoned Micaiah and he called Elijah a troublemaker.
We see the very same dynamic here at ACFJ, and you all have seen it in your dealings with the abuser, and with the abuser’s allies – including so often, pastors and churches. The abuse victim is depicted as the troubler of Israel. She says things that are not “good prophecies concerning her abuser.” The thing is troubling. It is unpleasant. These words don’t tickle ears. “No more! Tell us no more!”
I have seen this in our church over the years. Wickedness is detected among us. We shine the light of truth on it. Allies of the evil one don’t like it and they start accusing – “you are causing unnecessary trouble! You need to be more patient. You are too harsh. We have to love these people to Jesus.” You’ve heard it. But we answer as Elijah answered: “We have not troubled this church, but you have…because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord.”
Abuse victims are not the troublers of Israel. They are not troublers of their families, or of their churches, or of their marriages. The abuser is the troublemaker. His allies, including people in his local church who protect and enable him – they are the troublemakers. So let the Ahabs of our day scream and yell their accusations all they want, the fact is that the reason they are so enraged against the victim is that they are walking in sin, disobeying Christ whose command is that we protect the weak, the widow, the oppressed, and that we shake the dust of abuserville off our feet. And when people abandon the commandments of the Lord, they should expect that God’s people will not be prophesying good about them.