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Jehosaphat & Ahab

Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah and he sought God and wanted to do what God had commanded him to do. Because of this “the Lord was with Jehoshaphat” and God helped the kingdom of Judah and helped Jehoshaphat rule wisely. Jehoshaphat also got rid of the “high places and groves” that people worshipped instead of the one, true God. In place of these things he sent people to teach “the book of the law of the Lord.” So you can see that things were going well for Jehoshaphat while he kept his eyes on God and the Word of God.

There were, however, challenges ahead for Jehoshaphat and they came in the form of another person. Sometimes those around us may help us to stand on God’s Word and sometimes they want to lead us away. Let’s take a look in II Chronicles to see what happens when Jehoshaphat joins up with Ahab, the king of Israel.

II Chronicles 18:1 and 3:

Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead?

Ahab was not known for really caring about what God wanted. When he was asked join Ahab in this battle Jehoshaphat told him to ask God if this was the right thing to do. Ahab brought together four hundred prophets (those who were supposed to be listening to God) and asked them if he and Jehoshaphat should go to Ramoth-gilead. The answer was that Jehoshaphat and Ahab should “Go up; for God will deliver it into the kings’ hand.”

Jehoshaphat was not convinced that these prophets really listened to God so he asked Ahab specifically to get a “prophet of the Lord” to ask what the true God thought of the idea. Ahab agreed to do this, but was not happy because he said the prophet of the Lord, “never prophesied good unto me.” The reason for this is that Ahab was not doing the will of God.

The prophet they brought in was Micaiah and he did end up telling them that if they went to battle the Israelites would end up with no master and would be as sheep without a shepherd; meaning that Ahab would die. Ahab threw Micaiah back in prison. At this point you might think that Jehoshaphat would walk away from this Ahab who was up to no good. However, he did not; he stuck around and went to battle with him. The battle plan that Ahab came up with spelled trouble for Jehoshaphat.

II Chronicles 18:28

So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.

And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.

Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel.

And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

For it came to pass, that when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.

And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.

The enemy, the king of Syria, told his soldiers that the only one he cared about killing was the king of Israel, Ahab. This may not have been bad news except that Jehoshaphat had been convinced to disguise himself as Ahab. When the Syrians saw the robes of Ahab they surrounded him to battle.

This may have been the point when Jehoshaphat realized the big mistake he had made in choosing to be friends with Ahab instead of doing the will of God. Realizing his mistake, he quickly cried out to God and God “moved them to depart from him.” God did not ignore Jehoshaphat even though he had done something wrong. Jehoshaphat realized his error, went to God for help and God helped him.

Psalm 34:4:

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Children's Fellowship — on August 22, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

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