A Righteous King
In I Kings 22 we find the story of a battle. Ahab, the king over Israel wanted to battle for the land of Ramoth-Gilead. To do this he felt he first needed to ask a favor of Jehoshaphat, king over Judah. Yes, King Ahab wanted a little help. King Jehoshaphat agreed to help even though there was a great separation between these two kingdoms. He said...."I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses." Most Biblical scholars call this a mistake, a union with darkness. Jehoshaphat did have enough "God" in him to want to consult God before going into battle. It was as if he thought he might redeem himself somehow by seeking God's advice, even though he probably already knew that God did not approve of the alliance he had made.
How many times are we as Christians guilty of this very same thing? No, we may not be going into battles with chariots and horses to win over kingdoms, but we are in battles to gain things for ourselves. We often find ourselves in places and situations where we know God does not want us to be. After we have already made the decision to make these costly endeavors, even when we know better; as we first get our feet slightly wet; we say something like, "God be with me" or "God forgive me" before we are completely submerged in a union with darkness.
Yes, God forgives, but we are to turn from sin not charge into it when we know better. God does not honor endeavors that go totally against His Word, even when we ask nicely, no matter how guilty we feel, and think this will somehow justify our actions.
When Ahab asked false prophets opinions, They told him only what he wanted to hear. If we search long enough we can find someone who can speak words that will justify what we are doing, or are about to do.
Paul also warns God's people of this error.
Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved ... for this cause, God sendeth them a working of error that they should believe a lie, that they all might be judged who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Even we ourselves can search the true scriptures and twist them to have the meaning that we want them to have. Perhaps this is what Jeoshaophat had done. He could have taken scriptures. twisted them and justified this union as only an effort to reach out to "change" Ahab with the love of God. If we say our intent for entering into a close relationship with someone who willfully lives outside of God's commands is to change them, we must make sure we are not lying to ourselves. If this relationship causes us to willfully live outside of God's commands, a high price will be paid by someone.
Ahab did finally call a true prophet. " And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, there is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Jehovah, Micaiah the son of Imlah: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil."
Micaiah was fetched, and told what to say or else. In other words, he was told to lie. Micaiah chose the or else (he spoke the truth) and was thrown in prison. His prophecy came to pass as King Ahab died in the battle that God had warned against. As for Jehoshaphat, he was later called a righteous king, but the mistake of this alliance is mentioned in the summary of his reign as well as the fact that his people were still making sacrifices to idols.
We hope good things will be said about the lives we live here. When our lives here are done on earth, we all long to hear, "Well done." Alliances made with darkness, listening to false prophets, willfully sinning and lying to ourselves are not the best ways to be assured that we will hear those words.
May we each be careful what battles we enter into. May we always be sure to consult God and heed His advice. Also, may we speak the truth to others that God speaks to us, even if we face condemnation for speaking that truth.