Naysayers or Yes Men

In light of the recent death of Michael Jackson I thought it was appropriate to repost an early article on the problems associated with the RICH and the FAMOUS who surround themselves with people who are not truly seeking their best interests but actually are enabling their own demise. Initial reports seem to be circulating about Michael’s misuse of prescription drugs. There is growing controversy over the cardiac doctor who was present at the time of Michael’s cardiac arrest. The events that led up to the death of Michael could possibly have been prevented had Michael chosen a road of righteousness rather than stardom. There is a way that seems right unto man but the end thereof is death. Take a lesson and learn from the misfortunes of others and perhaps we can side step the events that led to their untimely deaths.

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm“?—Proverbs 13:20

ShipwreckThe allure of the world’s riches have caused many to fall by the wayside. The deceitfulness of riches ability to heal us of all ills has bankrupted many a soul on this journey called life. Each week we are reminded of the failings of mankind when another person finds themselves shipwrecked on the rocks of disgrace and shame.

Paris Hilton, although used to being in the spotlight for her celebrity status as an heir to the great Hilton empire, recently found out her celebrity status could not keep her from a prison cell. In fact the media frenzy that surrounds her just might have added to her misfortunes. For a person who is so used to the richness of privilege to find herself in a less than advantageous position had to be very humiliating for her. What brought Paris to this place in her life? Could something had been done to prevent this from happening?

A resounding yes would be the reply of any thinking person. Had someone stepped in to persuade her to stop her partying ways and take her life a bit more seriously perhaps she could have avoided her prison sentence.

Newspapers are filled with stories of the haves who end up face down in life’s cesspool. In just our recent past we can name many celebrities who have fallen from the heights of respect to the depths of shame. Lindsey, Brittney, Anna Nicole, O.J., Michael Jackson, “The Huff” must we go on?

Many through their hardships found a better way.

Some still live in disgrace to this day.

Sins_141cChristiandom is not void of those who had fallen from great heights into public shame and disgrace. Who can forget PTL and James and Tammy Faye? Or Jimmy Swaggart’s moral failure? All of us need to take heed and listen to what proverbs has to say about this subject. To use a modern day proverb one could say if you lie down with the dogs you are likely to get up with fleas.

Jehoshaphat was King of Judah during the time that King Ahab was ruler of Israel. There was no one else like Ahab. At the urging of his wife, he sold himself to do what the Lord considered evil. 1 Kings 21:25–26 GW

Israel had enjoyed three years of peace from the Syrians and Ahab wanted to go up against them to take some land. Ahab was never satisfied with what he had for prior to this occasion he had Naboth killed to take his vineyard for his own. (see 1Kings 21:1–16)

It was during this time of peace and prosperity that Jehoshaphat went down to meet with King Ahab and while the two were meeting Ahab inquired of Jehoshaphat to raise war against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat agreed to do so after inquiring of the prophets of the Lord.

Ahab had surrounded himself with false prophets who would tell him whatever it was he wanted to hear instead of what God required for him to do. This led to his eventual downfall and defeat.

Jehoshaphat said: “Please inquire for the word of the Lord today.” 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?” So they said, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 7 And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?” 8 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!” 9 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly!” 10 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, having put on their robes, sat each on his throne, at a threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 11 Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘With these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed.’ ” 12 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the king’s hand.” 13 Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Please, let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement.” 14 And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” 15 Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king!” 16 So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 17 Then he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’ ” 18 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.” 1 Kings 22:5-23 (NKJV)

Most people surround themselves with well wishers and yes men to their own detriment. No matter how hard AHAB tried to dismiss the negative prophet his end was just like the prophet had espoused. Had AHAB listened to the negative reports and changed his ways perhaps things could have been different for him.

Prosperity became the downfall of many a man and women down through time. The world had elevated them to a high position and they started to think that they were invincible. Money can buy many things but it can not save a person from themselves. No matter how much we achieve in this world if we fail to achieve wisdom along the way then we will end up looking foolish.

It is easy to dismiss negative people but those who ignore wise counsel and instead choose to walk in the ways of the foolish shall suffer disgrace and perhaps even death.

Had Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Brittney Spears and Michael Jackson not surrounded themselves with people who would tell them what they wanted to hear all the time perhaps they too could have avoided the shame of their foolish actions. Had Jimmy Swaggart and James Baker heeded the words of the scripture they themselves taught perhaps they too could have avoided the pitfalls of foolish pride.

Granted it is very possible that God had tried to interfere in the affairs of these people like He had done for Ahab but, like Ahab, they too refused to listen.

In order to lead balanced lives we need the rain as well as the sunshine.

My son, do not make little of the Lord’s punishment, and do not give up hope when you are judged by him; 6 For the Lord sends punishment on his loved ones; everyone whom he takes as his son has experience of his rod. 7 It is for your training that you undergo these things; God is acting to you as a father does to his sons; for what son does not have punishment from his father? 8 But if you have not that punishment of which we all have our part, then you are not true sons, but children of shame.

Heb 12:5-8 (BBE)

Unlike our earthly fathers God does not spare the rod for He knows by withholding punishment it leads to our shame. I do not know about you but I like being a son.


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