Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 21-22
The Bible is full of great statements and even some “one liners” like the one I didn’t talk about from yesterday’s reading (cf 1 Kings 20:11). Jesus’ statement as He was crucified (“Father, forgive them…” Luke 23:34) and Peter’s statement in Matthew 16:16 (“You are the Christ,…”) come to mind. Another great, but mostly unknown statement is found in today’s reading as we are introduced to Micaiah. Micaiah is sometimes called “the 401st prophet.” Desiring to go to war against Syria, Ahab enlists the help of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. Ahab’s 400 false prophets encourage the kings go to war, saying, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king” (22:6). Unconvinced, Jehoshaphat looks for some guidance from the Lord. Ahab reluctantly calls for Micaiah to come with a word from the Lord. Why reluctantly? Because Ahab said “I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” As the 400 false prophets encourage Micaiah to fall in line with what they have told Ahab, Micaiah responds, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (22:14). O Lord God of Heaven and Earth! We pray that Your pulpits everywhere will be filled with Micaiahs!
New Testament reading: Acts 7-8
Perhaps the most overlooked passage concerning the exercise of spiritual gifts is Acts 8:14-19. The miraculous exercise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit came only through the laying on of the apostles’ hands (8:14-19). Philip possessed the miraculous gifts but lacked the ability to pass them on to the Samaritan converts. Thus, the apostles sent Peter and John to Samaria that these new Christians might receive the Holy Spirit. Verse 17 is clear how the apostles laid hands on the Samaritans, “and they received the Holy Spirit.” Simon also recognized this power of the apostles, and offered them money that he might have the same power to pass on the Holy Spirit. Since the miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit was given through that apostles’ hands (cf Rom 1:11), how could it be given today? Finally, note these had been baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of sins yet were not given the Spirit. This stands in contrast to the teaching of many that the Spirit comes first and baptism afterward.