A Prophetic Inheritance by Christopher Harbin

A Prophetic Inheritance
Christopher B. Harbin
2 Kings 2:9-18

We have all heard people claim to speak for God. We have heard people claim to have heard God speak to them. The Bible is full of such stories. It speaks of many prophets, or spokesmen, for God. It also speaks of false prophets and those who would claim a word from God, when that word in not one that comes from God. The Apostle Paul claims at times to speak for God, at times for himself, and at times seemingly unsure whether his message is of God or is his own. When we hear different messages that purport to be from God, how do we discern God's voice from those voices that only purport to be from God?

There is a little story in the midst of the Elijah narratives about a prophet called Micaiah. Micaiah is a seemingly unimportant character as this is the only mention we have of him, yet he seems to have played a much larger role than we might otherwise imagine. In the text he is called upon by the king to inform him of Yahweh's will regarding an impending battle. The king is certain that even with a multitude of other prophets speaking with one voice that Micaiah's message will be on target, even as he counters what all the other prophets have to say. True to form, we find that Micaiah speaks God's truth as one voice in the midst of a host of competing voices.

Some might propose that Micaiah is actually the personal name of Elijah, and that the name Elijah is actually more of a title or nickname for the prophet. That is merely speculation, as both names refer to Yahweh, though the name Elijah simply means ''Yahweh is my God''. More importantly, there is an easy sense in the text that Elijah and Micaiah both speak faithfully for Yahweh in a way that others recognize the truth of their words, even when the refuse to accept the implications of their message.

At the end of Elijah's ministry, it is this issue that seems to be in Elisha's mind. We find Elijah and Elisha crossing over the Jordan into ...

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