Read 157.) I Kings 22:29 thru II Kings 1:18, and II Chronicles 18:28 thru 20:37. Time wise, we are in the 860’s and 850’s BC. Our I Kings reading begins with the end of Ahab. From our previous reading, it’s truly interesting that the one prophet of the Lord who told Ahab straight-up that his false prophets would deceive him, and it would result in his demise, was absolutely correct. And, it just so happened that an arrow shot ‘randomly’ should find its mark in Ahab where he was not protected. That arrow was ‘aimed’ by the Lord!
From Ahab, we pick up with Jehoshaphat in Judah at 22:41. It appears that this man went on to become one of Judah’s very finest kings, but for one very serious flaw. It is first noted in I Kings 22:1-4 and II Chronicles 18:1-3. We see what this led to by 19:1+2. It is the matter of separation. The set-apart people of God are not to join and ally themselves with those who are not. Jehoshaphat was Judah’s best, and Ahab was Israel’s worst! This also extended to what we read of in I Kings 22:43 and II Chron 20:33. As he did not completely separate, so the people also did not!
II Chronicles 20 relates a fascinating event! Three hostile forces to Judah’s east allied and were headed towards Jerusalem from the desert region of the southeast. It was a vast army, and all Judah, from Jehoshaphat on down, was terribly afraid. But, they turned to the Lord, and He affected for them a most extraordinary and miraculous deliverance; just as He has promised in their covenant, from the time of Moses, almost 600 years before! In their fear, they sought the Lord with prayer and fasting. God answered, and the people responded in faith, believing God’s word; first in worship, praise and thanksgiving, and secondly, in simple obedience to what He had instructed them to do. The result was a supernatural miracle of victory, deliverance, and success, that resulted in further future peace.
But, don’t miss what was said afterward, as it taints all that we just saw. From 20:35-37, despite the words told Jehoshaphat previously, concerning his necessity to separate himself, he violated this principle again, and it resulted in shipwreck and loss! Jehoshaphat was a great king, with one serious flaw. He was warned by God of it, yet he fell into it again. Here we are, some 2,900 years later. And, can we point a finger at Jehoshaphat, and not have 3 more pointing right back at ourselves? It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell