Jun
26
2016

Two or three witnesses?

Two or three witnesses?

 

Sometimes, people come along and say, I need you to agree with me and then go on to narrate a situation where God’s word is required. Being put on the spot to agree can sometimes be awkward, especially when you don’t agree with what is requested, but that is a discussion for another day. The scripture that is commonly used to justify this is:

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

The story of Micaiah recorded in 1 Kings 22 put a new twist on this principle and caused me to think a little bit more about this idea of agreement. In this story all the prophets of God were encouraging kings Ahab and Jehoshaphat to go to war against the Syrians. As was customary for kings in those days, before going to war, they decided to consult the prophets on their chances of success. The prophets of the land were summoned and they all told the kings what they wanted to hear – that they should go to war.

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there another prophet through whom we can consult the Lord?”

It is unclear why King Jehoshaphat was not satisfied with the initial response from the prophets, was it a case of mistrust; his own experience; wanting absolutely every prophet to endorse their actions? Whatever it was, the request was made for another prophetic voice. King Jehoshaphat asked whether there was still a prophet – he was essentially asking for a seasoned, proven prophet.

There were surely more than two prophets mentioned in the interaction with the kings. So, the question is what is the definition of a witness in whose agreement, things will be done? Surely these prophets were agreeing with each other on the earth. Does this mean that what they requested would be done?

In response to Micaiah’s concurrence with the other prophets’ statements, King Ahab said, “When you speak to me in the name of the Lord, tell the truth! How many times do I have to tell you that?” When the prophet responded with the truth, even though King Ahab did not like what he had to say he recognised that Micaiah stood in the counsel of God.

On close reading, I believe the phrase ‘if two of you shall agree on earth’ refers to people who stand in the counsel of God and hear His instructions. In other words, witnesses are people who testify to the truth that has been spoken or instructed by God. The need for discernment is so great in our day. Who are we using as witnesses? Those whom we know carry the word of God and declare it. The principle is further illustrated by Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 14:29:

Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

So when next you want to hear what God is saying through the mouth of two or three witnesses, remember the criteria is that they are people who carry the very word of God. So until next time when I appear in your inbox, stay blessed

 

Ola

About the Author: Ola Aroyehun

Ola Aroyehun editor of The Christian Business and Professional Magazine: a magazine dedicated to helping Christians apply biblical principles to their professional lives.

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