So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”
“Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” 1 Kings 22:6-7
Jehoshaphat knew men and their tendencies to avoid telling those in power the truth, especially if it meant telling the King that he might die! Put yourselves in their place: would you like to be the bearer of bad news to a king who could take your life within seconds after you told him? Not many would. It is apparent that these so-called prophets were not prophets of the Lord. It seems that Jehoshaphat and Ahab knew that a true prophet would prophesy bad things against the two kings and their nations. In short, the prophets would tell the truth regardless of the consequences to their own lives. Because the prophets were not true prophets, they were only saying what would have been pleasing to the Kings.
The prophets of the Lord obviously had a good reputation throughout the kingdom. That reputation is built over time and circumstance. You don’t need to broadcast your reputation; your reputation speaks for itself.
How’s your reputation in the community? How is it at work or at your PTA or even in your church? What do others say about you? Do they think highly of you? Ultimately, though, what God thinks of us in infinitely more important that what others think of us. It doesn’t mean we should be obnoxious and condescending and rude, but it does put things into perspective. God, who loves us infinitely and unconditionally, is the one we should be trying to please because of what He’s done for us. We aim to please not as a means of gaining heaven or more stature in God’s eyes, but out of devotion and love for our Saviour.