God has told Elijah that Ahab and Jezebel’s days were numbered. He’s also given him Elisha as an assistant and prophet-in-training. Meanwhile, Ahab is still king over Israel and Asa is ruling in Judah.
After a long stretch as king over Judah, Asa “died in the forty-first year of his reign. He was buried in the tomb he had carved out for himself in the City of David. He was laid on a bed perfumed with sweet spices and fragrant ointments, and the people built a huge funeral fire in his honor” (II Chronicles 16:13-14, NLT).
“Then Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, became the next king” (II Chronicles 17:1a). “Jehoshaphat son of Asa began to rule over Judah in the fourth year of King Ahab’s reign in Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the example of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight” (I Kings 22:41-43a).
So how was Ahab finally removed from the throne of Israel? “For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. Then during the third year, King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel. During the visit, the king of Israel said to his officials, ‘Do you realize that the town of Ramoth-gilead belongs to us? And yet we’ve done nothing to recapture it from the king of Aram!’
Then he turned to Jehoshaphat and asked, ‘Will you join me in battle to recover Ramoth-gilead?’
Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, ‘Why, of course! You and I are as one. My troops are your troops, and my horses are your horses.’ Then Jehoshaphat added, ‘But first let’s find out what the Lord says.’
So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, about 400 of them, and asked them, ‘Should I go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?’
They all replied, ‘Yes, go right ahead! The Lord will give the king victory.’
But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Is there not also a prophet of the Lord here? We should ask him the same question’” (I Kings 22:1-7).
Jehoshaphat had no confidence in the words of the 400 prophets Ahab brought before them. Wisely, he insisted on a consulting a true man of God.
Folks, I hope you’re seeing the pattern here. Being in what looks like the majority doesn’t make it so and doesn’t make it right. Jehoshaphat wanted Jehovah on their side when they went into battle. Ahab had already made up his mind to go to war and merely wanted the others to back his decision.
“We are either in the process of resisting God's truth or in the process of being shaped and molded by His truth.” (Charles Stanley)
Ahab was resisting; and it was going to cost him.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates