So far, it seems that the story of God’s people has been a true “us vs. them” story. Again and again it has been the people of Israel against their enemies. There have been a few exceptions to this, from Saul and David to Jeroboam and Rehaboam, but with Elijah and the dawn of the prophets, the enemies are more often than not God’s own people. And so we find Elijah doing battle with Ahab and Jezebel, who we think of as God’s enemies, but are in fact the King of Israel and his wife.
And as the New Testament says, the prophets were seldom treated with honor, and were in fact regularly beaten, jailed, and even killed for bringing God’s message. We see that with Elijah, whose life was threatened again and again, and today with Michaiah, who is thrown in jail for being the only true prophet to bring God’s message of destruction.
When we begin to think that doing God’s will, speaking God’s truth, shouldn’t bring us this pain, fear, and shunning, lets remember the prophets. And Jesus Himself. And all of His disciples. They were almost all killed for their obedience to God’s mission. Why are we confused when it is any different for us? How can we possibly believe that if we are truly following God’s will, we will be wealthy, beloved, and popular? And yet the most well-versed of us still does.
“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you. For that is the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.”