We have all heard stories about there being “yes men” around people of some prominence. We note that those who have “yes men” around have a terribly distorted view of life; the life about them is not really seen because “yes men” intervene and prevent reality from being experienced.
Experiencing reality as it is (rather than as another might want it to be) has a way of shaping us into “well-rounded” people. It does not always work that way, of course, but it is a contributor to grounding us more than not. For some, though, there is little desire in being grounded.
Israel had a king; his name was Ahab. He had a number of prophets who tended to his needs when he wanted something done. On one occasion the king of Judah (Jehoshaphat) desired the Lord’s input before he and the king of Israel set themselves in front of another army. The Israelite king accepted Jehoshaphat’s request and called for the prophets; 400 came to the two kings. All the prophets spoke to the kings and told them the Lord would give victory. Jehoshaphat, however, had his doubts about this entourage and asked for the Lord’s prophet. Ahab did not like this request, but granted it to his associate king.
What is interesting about Ahab’s response to Jehoshaphat was that he made it plain to the king of Judah that he did not like the Lord’s prophet because “he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22:8). Here is why “yes men” are so popular and wanted.
Because the Israelite king wanted his “yes men” before him, his reality was terribly distorted. In fact, so distorted it was that he bought in to idolatry and he had the ignoble reputation of “There had never been anyone like Ahab, who was firmly committed to doing evil in the sight of the LORD, urged on by his wife Jezebel. He was so wicked he worshiped the disgusting idols, just like the Amorites whom the LORD had driven out from before the Israelites” (1 Kings 21:25-26, NET).
Paul would have said it this way: “Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16, ESV) RT