If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 1 Kings 22, 1 Thessalonians 5, Daniel 4, Ps 108–109. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 1 Kings 22.
Jehoshaphat king of Judah was such an interesting man. He is one of the 8 kings of Judah who is described as doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord. In his obedience to the Lord he was following his father Asa (v. 43). But, though he was credited with being a good king, he made some very curious decisions.
We read about one of those decisions today in 1 Kings 22. Unlike other kings of Israel and Judah who were at odds with each other, Jehoshaphat and Ahab of Israel got along well (see v. 44). In today’s passage we read today they were getting along so well that Jehoshaphat joined Ahab in Ahab’s war against Aram (vv. 1-4). Like a godly king, however, Jehoshaphat sought the Lord’s guidance about this decision (v. 5). Against his better judgment (v. 8), Ahab sent for Micaiah the prophet (v.9). Micaiah, contrary to the popular mood of Ahab’s false prophets (vv. 10-12, 24-25), contrary to what he was asked to do by Ahab’s messenger (vv. 13-17), and at great personal cost to himself (vv. 24-28), Micaiah faithfully relayed the Lord’s word that Israel’s false prophets were lying to Ahab and Jehoshaphat (vv. 19-23) and that Israel and Judah would suffer a costly defeat to the Arameans (vv. 17, 23, 28).
Although Jehoshaphat sought counsel from the Lord, he did not listen to the warning he received. Then, he foolishly went into battle dressed like a king while Ahab went incognito (vv. 29-33). God protected Jehoshaphat from being killed himself (vv. vv. 31-33) but Ahab was killed in battle just as Micaiah had prophesied and presumably Israel and Judah lost many men in battle.
Why did Jehoshaphat ask for the Lord’s will then do what he wanted to do despite the Lord’s will? Was it peer pressure or the desire to maintain a good relationship with Ahab? We don’t know; however, each of us understands what it is like to be Jehoshaphat. We know what it is like to want to do something foolish or even wrong, be warned by God’s word that there will be negative consequences, sin anyway, then experience exactly what the Lord said would happen. In our foolish hearts, we think that we are exceptional—that we won’t get caught or the risks are minimal and controllable or that God will just be merciful to us. But God is just and one of his fundamental laws of creation is that you will reap what you sow. If you sow disobedience, you will reap death. What decision are you mulling today or already actively moving toward? Is this outside God’s moral will—his commands that are set forth in his word? Is your decision risky from a moral or wisdom point of view? Learn the lesson of Jehoshaphat; don’t ask for God’s will hoping that he’ll bless what you want to do; instead, choose to do what God wants you to do. It’s the only wise, safe decision to make if your trust is in him.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.