Jesus' Footprints

God Saves Jehoshaphat

Posted on: 6 Aug 2011

1 Kings 22:44 says that Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.  We learn more about this in 2 Chronicles 19:2, 3 where Jehu went out to meet Jehoshaphat and say to him, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?  Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.  Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.”

Ahab could not escape God’s judgment.  Wearing a disguise did not save him from the random bow that struck him.

Jehoshaphat should not have gone with Ahab to fight the king of Syria after he learned that it was God’s will that Israel be defeated–that the promise of victory was a lie.  He was not obligated to go and he should have withdrawn his support. He could have been killed had it not been for the grace of God who saved him.  We read about this in 2 Chronicles 18:31, 32:   So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “It is the king of Israel!” Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him.  For so it was, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.

I can’t believe that Jehoshaphat went along with Ahab’s plan.  What was he thinking?  This is what I call blind trust.  What did he think was going to happen?  And he was right there when the prophet declared, “Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.”

The lesson here, is that we should not follow people who don’t fear God.  Jehoshaphat went along with Ahab who was a scoundrel.  He disguised himself while he persuaded Jehoshaphat to wear his robes, probably hoping that if the Syrian army saw him they would kill him instead.  It was by the grace of God that Jehoshaphat returned safely to his home in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 19:1).  And no doubt Jehoshaphat realized what a close call he had and despite his plan to escape death through deceit, Ahab was killed and he died later that day as the sun set.

We should not allow others to persuade us to do what we know is wrong or pointless, even if they are our friends or families.  Perhaps Jehoshaphat felt obligated because he and Ahab were family.  2 Chronicles 18:1 says:  by marriage he allied himself with Ahab.  Perhaps what Jehoshaphat should have done was say to Ahab, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war if it is the Lord’s will.  Please inquire for the word of the LORD today.” And then seek the Lord’s guidance.  Once he learned that God would not deliver Ramoth Gilead into Israel’s hand,  he should have tried to dissuade Ahab from going into battle against the Syrians.  And if Ahab insisted on going to war, then Jehoshaphat should have declined to join him because it was a bad idea. Unfortunately, he didn’t do the right thing and it almost cost him his life.  Perhaps the Jehoshaphat should have heeded these words of another king, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil” (Proverbs 4:14).

Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I escape safely – Psalm 141:10.

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