In this article, I plan to dissect the life of King Jehoshaphat, who was listed in the Bible as one of the “good kings” of Israel that “did right” in the sight of God. Remember Israel was led by 33 kings that “did evil” and only 9 kings that “did good” in the sight of God. Whether a king was a “good or evil king” had direct, predictable ramifications to them and their nation. God is predictable and God is just. He is the same for every nation. It is illogical to assume that God would treat people at a different standard of justice in the old testament than in the new testament. Both testaments were joined together as one book prior to Constantine. No, throughout the Bible, grace was extended to people. It did not matter if you belonged to the Jewish nation or you were their enemies, God held you accountable anyway. The people of Nineveh certainly were not God’s chosen people, yet God held them accountable anyway. Because of God’s grace, warning was given to Nineveh through the preaching of Jonah and the people of Nineveh repented from the King on down. Judgment was averted through grace. God, being perfect in judgment, always chastised, disciplined and judged men according to the light (knowledge) they possessed. Yet, finally the “cup of iniquity” became full and God dealt with that person or nation. According to Romans chapter one, all men know the truth about God but because they do not want to obey God, He turns them over to a reprobate mind to obey their own lusts. Man is turned over to a spirit of deceit if he does not want to obey truth so he can believe in lies like, evolution, religions, alternate lifestyles, etc. Yes, the timetable for God’s judgment is not the same for all nations because of different variables but judgment finally does come in the final form of destruction. I will discuss the different forms of judgment as well as the variables that affect the timetable of judgment in article 12. For now, I must return to King Jehoshaphat.
In the first 9 verses of 2 Chronicles 17, we read how Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and consequently “the Lord was with Jehoshaphat.” Whenever men serve the Lord (and not “Baalim-idolatry-self”) He will be with them and will prosper them. A proof that Jehoshaphat had a relationship with God was Jehoshaphat’s desire to study and obey the commandments of the Lord. Jehoshaphat also sent teaching leaders of the nation (princes, Levites and priests), to the cities of Judah to teach the people the ways of God. No other king of Israel had taken this tremendous teaching mission to the nation, teaching the people from city to city the laws of God. By these instructions the people had their questions answered concerning the commandments of God and revival came to the land.
2 Chronicles 17 “1And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. 2And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. 3And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 5Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 6And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah. 7Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 8And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests. 9And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.”
We see how God blessed Jehoshaphat tremendously and gave him favor with the people so that all of Judah brought presents and honored the king. All of this prosperity came because Jehoshaphat honored God and proved it through obedience. In verse 6, King Jehoshaphat has the high places in Judah removed as well as the asherahs (totem pole type idols).
According to Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, “Heb, asherah, a pillar or image of wood. It was set up with the image of Baal and worshipped by libidinous rites and lascivious practices. Asherah is always rendered grove and groves in the A.V., but retained as a proper name in the R.V. The word comes from the root ashar, to be straight, upright or erect in the ground like a totem pole. It was either a living tree with the top cut off and the trunk fashioned into a certain shape (Dt. 16:21), or a log fashioned into an idol and set erect in the ground (1Ki.14:15; 16:33; Isa. 17:8)...Originally the idol was worshipped as a symbol of the tree of life, but later perverted to mean the origin of life and pictured with the male organs of procreation (Ezek.16:17). Such symbols became the objects of worship carried on with all forms of impurity, perversion, and licentiousness by crowds of devotees involved in demonized and obscene orgies. The worship centered in the Canaanite nations and then spreading into others. Relics of it are found among all heathen peoples. The first mention of the idol in the Bible stamps it as a special object of God’s hatred; and it was this idol that God revealed His name as Jealous (Exodus 34:13-14; 1Ki.14:15; 15:13; 16;32-33; 2 Chr.36:14). It led to the destruction of all Canaanite nations and, with other things caused Israel to be banished among other nations. The true nature of this form of idolatry is made clear in Jer.5:7; 7:30-31; 19:4-5; 32:34-35; Hos.4:12-14; Amos 2:7-9; and in other passages where grove and groves are found (Exodus 34:13; Dt.7:5; 12:3; 16:21; Judg.3:7; 6:25-30; 1Ki.14:15,23; 15:13; 16:33; 18:10; 2Ki.13:6; 17:10,16; 18:4; 21:3,7; 23:4-15; 2Chr.14:3; 15:16; 17:6; 19:3; 24:18; 31:1; 33:3,19; 34:3-7; Isa.17:8; 27:9; Jer.17:2; Mic.5:14)”
Whenever people will seek the lord and obey all His commandments, God will give favor and cause fear to come upon the enemies of the Lord so that peace prevails. This is the secret to America having peace with all nations and the Islamic terrorists. The President of the United States needs to send teachers into all the cities and states of America, and through teaching and preaching, call Americans to repent of their sins and follow the laws of God through Jesus Christ.
“10And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats. 12And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store. 13And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem.”
Even the enemy of Judah, the Philistines, came under the influence of the anointing of God upon the leadership of Jehoshaphat and Judah. They were restrained by the Lord from attacking Judah and instead they blessed Jehoshaphat with presents and tribute. This could happen to the President and the nation of America if the President, by his actions and through his leadership, brought revival to America like Jehoshaphat did to Judah.
“14And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand. 15And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand. 16And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. 17And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand. 18And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war. 19These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.”
When a leader of a nation truly turns the nation back to the laws of God, then that nation is blessed by strength from within (military and police). Their forces are loyal and are there to protect and serve the leaders of the nation and the nation itself. Today in America, we have disloyalty and downright treason within our leadership. Spys are constantly being exposed for their betrayal of America to our enemies!
King Jehoshaphat was listed as the second “good king of Israel,” yet he made some terrible mistakes.
2 Chronicles 18 “1Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.”
The first major mistake of King Jehoshaphat was making an alliance with King Ahab of Israel. It is important to note the importance of parental influence. King Jehoshaphat’s father was King Asa who was also classified as a “good king” of Judah. Asa must have done a fairly good job of parental discipleship, raising his son Jehoshaphat in the ways of God. Yet, Jehoshaphat made some of the same mistakes that his righteous father made during his reign. We must do our best as parents to raise our children to follow God and not make the same mistakes that we have made during our lifetime. Also, we children need to follow the good example of our parents but not be so blind or foolish that we ignore the bad mistakes and decisions that our parents made. Now, let us study how Jehoshaphat fell into the trap of being aligned with an ungodly king. We are not supposed to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and God judges Jehoshaphat for this mistake.
“2And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead. 3And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.”
The laws of God which Jehoshaphat loved and had taught throughout his kingdom warned him not to walk or sit in council with the wicked. It warned him of the ramifications of the wicked person’s life. (Ps.1:1-6). The Scriptures told him not to let the sinner entice him (Prov.1:10; 3:31). God tells us not to allow the wicked leader to entice and seduce us with his hospitality, food, and wine (Prov.4:17; 23:1-3). Jehoshaphat ignored all of these warnings from the Word of God.
“4And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. 5Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand. 6But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? 7And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”
King Jehosphaphat seemed to have some second thoughts about what he had just agreed to do, for he asked King Ahab to “enquire” of the Lord whether they should go into battle against the Syrians. It appears to me that Jehosphaphat had some spiritual discernment, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Many times we might have some spiritual discernment, yet we go against that discernment. Sometimes we do it out of peer-pressure, and at other times because the discernment is so weak from our lack of consistent, daily time with God to hear His still, small voice loudly! King Ahab did not have a relationship with God, so consequently (as when King Saul backslid), he could not hear from God directly. He had to call upon his own what I call “puppet-prophets.” These false prophets told Ahab exactly what he wanted to hear. There are some important lessons to be learned out of these verses. One, we must have true mature friends and men of God give us Godly advice, not just the advice we want to hear. Also, just because everyone seems to be saying the same thing in one accord does not necessarily mean that the advice and councel is always correct. Here, these false prophets (all 400 of them) gave the same counsel. Some critics might say, “but they were false prophets”. That is true, but where does wrong advice come from? A lack of knowledge and understanding creating divine wisdom. If Christians do not spend enough time with God, they lack true wisdom and make decisions based upon their human, logical understanding and peer-pressure. Many times entire congregations make the wrong choice and decision. It seems that Jehoshaphat discerned again something wrong with the verdict of the 400 prophets because he asked Ahab if there wasn’t another prophet to enquire from.
It seems sad to me that Jehoshaphat had been close enough to God to operate with some spiritual discernment, yet he lacked the faith to obey the Lord and not listen to Ahab to form an alliance with him and follow him into battle!
“8And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla. 9And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 10And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed. 11And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 12And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of their’s, and speak thou good. 13And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak. 14And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.”
Here we see that the true prophet of God, Micaiah, was advised by the messenger who was sent to bring him before king Ahab and Jehoshaphat to agree with the other prophets. People are always coming under pressure in America to be politicaly correct, and pressure was put on Micaiah to bow to the political will of Ahab. At first, Micaiah seemed to acquiesce and he agreed with the other prophets. Sometimes people say what is expected of them instead of standing up for the truth. Micaiah first, boldly told the messenger that he would only speak only what God told him to speak. Then, when the time came, he spoke a lie. Let us read Ahab’s response to Micaiah’s agreement.
“15And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD? 16Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace. 17And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?”
It seems that Ahab also had a spiritual inclination and knew that Micaiah was not telling him the truth, so he rebuked Micaiah and exhorted him to tell them the truth about what God is showing him. After receiving the correct prophecy from Micaiah, Ahab gets upset and puts Micaiah back in prison as we will read. Many times, dear saint, we intuitively know what we are doing is wrong and we even seek counsel exhorting people to tell us the truth, and when they do we get mad at them. Aren’t people perplexing?
This tells me that the Holy Spirit is constantly trying to lead and guide people, both saint and sinner. Usually the saint is more cooperative with the Holy Spirit and recognizes the voice of God, where the sinner many times is not cooperating with God, neither does he always recognize the Spirit of God.
“18Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? 21And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. 22Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee. 23Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?”
Here Micaiah had a vision of the lying spirit in the mouth of Ahab’s 400 false prophets. The Bible is so very clear that if men do not receive the truth of God, He will turn men over to strong delusion so that men will believe a lie. I personally believe that evolution is a demonic doctrine. Men are influenced by lying spirits because of their pride and vanity, and will not submit under humility to the will of God (Read Romans chapter one!). Be ready to be attacked by people who lie, just as Micaiah was slapped by Zedekiah, who was probably the chief prophet of these 400, false prophets of Baal. When religious people are crossed, they get very angry and may attack you verbally and sometimes become very violent. The spirit of religion is a lying spirit and it is also a very violent spirit. Countless millions of people have been tortured and killed in the name of some “god”.
“24And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. 25Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; 26And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace. 27And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people. 28So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. 29And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and I will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. 30Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel. 31And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 32For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him. 33And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. 34And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.”
Jehoshaphat was a weak leader at times for he did not rebuke Ahab for belittling or persecuting Micaiah. Also, he listened to the counsel of Ahab and put on the royal robes so the enemy attacked him personally. We will continue!
© 2005 World Ministries International