Wednesday, 15 January 2020 22:32

The Kings of Judah, Micaiah the true Prophet

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Jehoshaphat through marriage allied himself with Ahab. When he visited Ahab some years later he asked him to attack Ramoth Gilead along with him. Jehoshaphat agreed but first he wanted to seek the counsel of the Lord. Ahab brought all his prophets for counsel. All of them said that surely they would win the war.

But Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of the Lord and Mìcaiah was brought. Micaiah said that a lying spirit has made all the prophets say that the king would be victorious. Micaiah said that he saw all Israel scattered on the hills like a sheep without a shepherd. The king was angry and said that Micaiah should be put in prison and given only bread and water.

In the war against Ramoth Gilead Jehoshaphat was hurt but Ahab was killed. The wrath of God was on Jehoshaphat but because he set his heart to seek God and rid the land of Asherah poles he was spared.

Jehoshaphat's Rule 
He set up judges and told them to judge without any injustice and partiality. He told the priests and Levites to serve God faithfully and whole heartedly. He asked them to act with courage.

Jehoshaphat defeats Moab and Ammon - A very large army was coming against Judah. The people of Judah sought the Lord for help. The Lord sent his prophet and encouraged them saying The battle is the Lord's. Face the enemy boldly, don't be discouraged, I am with you.

At the head of the army men were set to sing and praise God saying Give thanks unto the Lord for His love (mercy) endures forever. As they sang the Lord set ambushes against the enemies. They destroyed one another. The fear of the Lord came upon them and they were at peace. After the death of Jehoshaphat his son Jehoram became king.

The next two kings Jehoram and his son Ahaziah were also wicked and did evil in the sight of the Lord. Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah was also wicked. She killed the whole royal family. At that time the nurse of Joash son of Ahaziah carried him and hid in the temple for six years.

In the 7th year Joash was brought into the temple and anointed as king and all the people shouted with joy and said Long live the king. Athaliah was stunned to see Joash crowned. The commander's took her out of the temple and killed her. The priest and the people made a covenant that they would be the Lord's people.

The Power of Praise 
When Jehoshaphat was attacked by the Ammonites and Moabites he stood in the assembly and prayed. Some of the Levites stood up and praised God with a loud voice. Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing unto the Lord and praise Him for the splendor of His holiness.

They went out at the army praising Give thanks unto the Lord for His love(mercy) endureth forever. The Lord fought the battle for them. The only weapon they used was The weapon of Praise.The enemy was totally defeated.

In difficult times let us commit ourselves to God and praise and thank Him continually.
Let us not give in to worry.
Let us sing and praise Him.
Wonderfully the Lord will lift our burdens from us when we trust Him wholeheartedly.

All glory be to His name.
Mrs Caroline Chellappa, Chennai

Soaring with Praise

➡ Jehoshaphat’s heart was lifted up in the ways of Jehovah. [2 Ch 17:6]? [ Lifted up = gâbahh = to soar… as in Job 39:37 – the eagle soars]
➡ Jehoshaphat’s heart soared with joy as he walked with the Lord, doing His Will, being led by His Word.
➡  Such a contrast to me… I know I it’s easier for me to rejoice when GOD does good things for me…
➡  Do I soar with joy when I have to say, Lord, not my will?
➡ Jehoshaphat’s delight in the Lord led him to tear down high places & Asherim. [2 Ch 17:6]
Asa had removed the Asherah. [2 Ch 15:16]
But they had made a come back…
Wrong thinking patterns always try to rebuild themselves & reclaim our minds.
Am I vigilant in recognising their comeback?
Do I delight to tear down wrong thinking patterns/wrong habits because they keep me from “soaring with the Lord”?

➡ Jehoshaphat’s name means “Jehovah had judged”. He recognised that he was King on behalf of God. So when he appointed judges, he instructed them:
" Consider (think about) what you do, for you judge (& work) not for man but for the LORD.
He is with you in giving judgment/ whatever you do.
Let the fear of the LORD be upon you…" [2Ch 19:6-7]

The Apostle Paul echoed that when he said, “Work with a sincere heart because of your reverence for the Lord [Col 3:22]. Remember you are not serving men. You are servants of Christ. Take joy in doing the PLEASURE/WILL OF GOD from the heart. [Rf Eph 6:6]

Just imagine how the world would change if Christians all over the world began to work with sincere hearts as if we were serving the Lord, doing HIS PLEASURE… if we soared with delight in doing our everyday work sincerely for GOD
➡  Christians make up roughly 30% of the world population… a pinch of salt maybe, but sufficient isn’t it?
➡ What would happen if Christian engineers, techies, bankers, teachers, parents etc. conformed to Christ rather than the world…
➡ if we courageously lived counter-culturally marching to the beat of God’s heart rather than the piping of the world?
➡ When faced with a mighty army, Jehoshaphat prayed, left it in God’s hands, believed God’s promise, then made a choice to look at God & not the enemy.

Pride looks INWARD & downward. Praise looks outward & UPWARD.
❤Tough times come to everybody. Satan tempts us to feel weak, look at our problems & lack of resources… to look INWARD at self.
❤ But the Holy Spirit enables us to look outside ourselves, above our circumstances and focus on the LOVE of God.
❤ When we accept & believe that God LOVES us, (because we are His children through the blood of Jesus) then we have the confidence to stand in the midst of the fiercest storm. [Rf 1 Jn 4:16-18, Rom 8:31-39]

Praise is our expression of faith in the character of God. We lift up the shield of faith each time we magnify God in song.

Praise focuses our attention on God, breaking the power of fear & helplessness.
Praise enables us to truly surrender control to God. When we let go into HIS hands, God does things for us we could not have imagined to be possible.

Jehoshaphat did so many wonderful things… BUT he sowed the seeds of Judah’s ultimate destruction by marrying his son Jehoram to Ahab & Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah… and then by persisting in building ties with ungodly Israel/Samaria.

Abba Father it is scary to think that one action done in my own wisdom & understanding can undo all the good that YOU do in me and through me. I need You to nudge me sharply when I am going off after my own heart. I want to learn to soar with joy in doing YOUR will. May YOU be magnified in me and through me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Alice D.

 I am the Holy One

⏳ Micaiah Warns Ahab
To honor Jehoshaphat and those with him, Ahab had a large number of sheep and cattle slaughtered for a feast.

He asked, Will you go with me to attack Ramoth? Jehoshaphat replied, I am ready when you are, and so is my army. We will join you.

Then he added, But first let's consult the LORD.

So Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not? Attack it, they answered. God will give you victory.

But Jehoshaphat asked, Isn't there another prophet through whom we can consult the LORD?

Ahab answered, There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad. You shouldn't say that! Jehoshaphat replied. All the other prophets said the same thing. March against Ramoth and you will win, they said. The LORD will give you victory.

But Micaiah answered, By the living LORD I will say what my God tells me to!

Micaiah answered, *I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD said, ' These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.' *

Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, I told you that he never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad!

Micaiah went on: *Now listen to what the LORD says! I saw the LORD sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him.

The LORD asked, 'Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and get killed at Ramoth?' Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else, until a spirit stepped forward, approached the LORD, and said, 'I will deceive him.' 'How?' the LORD asked.

The spirit replied, 'I will go and make all of Ahab's prophets tell lies.' The LORD said, 'Go and deceive him. You will succeed.' *

And Micaiah concluded: This is what has happened. The LORD has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!

Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked, Since when did the LORD's spirit leave me and speak to you?

Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, *Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon,

Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.*

If you return safely, Micaiah exclaimed, then the LORD has not spoken through me! And he added, Listen, everyone, to what I have said!

⏳ Ahab Dies in Battle
By chance, however, a Syrian soldier shot an arrow which struck King Ahab between the joints of his armor. I'm wounded! he cried out to his chariot driver. Turn around and pull out of the battle!

While the battle raged on, At sunset he died.

⏳ The Reforms of Jehoshaphat
He appointed judges in each of the fortified cities of Judah

and instructed them: *Be careful in pronouncing judgment; you are not acting on human authority, but on the authority of the LORD, and he is with you when you pass sentence.

Honor the LORD and act carefully, because the LORD our God does not tolerate fraud or partiality or the taking of bribes.*

He gave them the following instructions: *You must perform your duties in reverence for the LORD, faithfully obeying him in everything you do. Be courageous and carry out these instructions, and may the LORD be on the side of the right!*

⏳ Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir Defeated
Jehoshaphat was frightened and prayed to the LORD for guidance. Then he gave orders for a fast to be observed throughout the country.

The spirit of the LORD came upon a Levite who was present in the crowd. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah;

Jahaziel said, *Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you.

Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low, with his face touching the ground, and all the people bowed with him and worshiped the LORD.

After consulting with the people, the king ordered some musicians to put on the robes they wore on sacred occasions and to march ahead of the army, singing: Praise the LORD! His love is eternal!

When they began to sing, the LORD threw the invading armies into a panic.

The Ammonites and the Moabites attacked the Edomite army and completely destroyed it, and then they turned on each other in savage fighting.

When the Judean army reached a tower that was in the desert, they looked toward the enemy and saw that they were all lying on the ground dead. Not one had escaped.

Every nation that heard how the LORD had defeated Israel's enemies was terrified,




2 Chronicles: 20:21   "..... Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures for ever"

When messengers told King Jehoshaphat, " A vast army is coming against you from Edom", he was terrified. But instead of turning to typical military tatics, Jehoshaphat turned to God. He acknowledged God's supremacy and admitted his own fear and
confusion. He prayed," We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you" (V: 2)

⚡ Then the King chose singers to lead the army into the battle. Instead of a war cry, they sang of God's love. The result was startling. Their enemies turned on each other. In the end "The Kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side" (V.30)

⚡ An almost similar incident has taken place after long years, in the Philippian prison. Paul and Silas were cast into the inner prison duly thrashed with bleeding bodies. Their feet were locked in a stock and hands were bound with chains.

⚡ And in the midnight in the midst of excruciating pain Paul and Silas sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them. We do not know the verses they have sung. But the songs were so strong to bring an earthquake. In the end, the entire household of the Jailor believed in the Lord and were saved.(Acts: 16)

⚡ It is only an ordinary thing if we praise God and sing songs about His mercy when everything go well for us. God is looking for our
reaction in a most challenging situation in our life.

Whether we are facing a battle or feeling trapped, we can glorify God in our hearts. David says: " I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm:34:l)

Dr. Thomas David

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