II Chronicles 18 & 19

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Because the God-fearing Gentiles were already oriented toward Israel and Judaism, the apostles found them to be the perfect soil in which to begin planting the seeds of Yeshua’s message. Unlike the pagan world around them, the God-fearers had already accepted Jewish monotheism. They were familiar with the Torah and the Prophets, attended synagogue, and functioned within Jewish communities. It was but a small step for them to understand that salvation had come to the world through the Jewish Messiah. – Toby Janicki, God-Fearers

King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, dressed in their royal robes, were sitting on thrones at the threshing floor near the gate of Samaria. All of Ahab’s prophets were prophesying there in front of them. 10 One of them, Zedekiah son of Kenaanah, made some iron horns and proclaimed, “This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans to death!” 11 All the other prophets agreed. “Yes,” they said, “go up to Ramoth-gilead and be victorious, for the Lord will give the king victory!” (II Chronicles 18:9-11 NLT).

The false prophets were just as quick to cry, “This is what the LORD says,” or if prone to Old English, “Thus says the LORD,” but the truth was, what they were proclaiming was decidedly not from Jehovah God.

Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah said to him, “Look, all the prophets are promising victory for the king. Be sure that you agree with them and promise success.” 13 But Micaiah replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what my God says.” 14 When Micaiah arrived before the king, Ahab asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?” (II Chronicles 18:12-14a NLT).

Micaiah’s determination to speak only what “Thus says the LORD,” would earn him continued imprisonment, the bread and water of affliction, and without Jehoshaphat lifting a hand to help him. He begins by answering a fool according to his folly—in sarcasm.

Micaiah replied sarcastically, “Yes, go up and be victorious, for you will have victory over them!” 15 But the king replied sharply, “How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the Lord?” 16 Then Micaiah told him, “In a vision I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘Their master has been killed. Send them home in peace’” (II Chronicles 18:14b-16 NLT).

This vision must have hit Ahab like a bombshell, especially considering that Ahab did not want to hear the truth.

“Didn’t I tell you?” the king of Israel exclaimed to Jehoshaphat. “He never prophesies anything but trouble for me.” 18 Then Micaiah continued, “Listen to what the Lord says! I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the armies of heaven around him, on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who can entice King Ahab of Israel to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so he can be killed?’ (II Chronicles 18:17-19a NLT).

We are now privy to one of the most astounding pictures of the Throne of God, and the manner in which Heavenly business is conducted.

“There were many suggestions, 20 and finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I can do it!’ “‘How will you do this?’ the Lord asked. 21 “And the spirit replied, ‘I will go out and inspire all of Ahab’s prophets to speak lies.’ “‘You will succeed,’ said the Lord. ‘Go ahead and do it.’ 22 “So you see, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of your prophets. For the Lord has pronounced your doom” (II Chronicles 18:20-22 NLT).

The idea is, if men will not have the truth, the LORD will aid and abet their believing a lie… This is something to contemplate…

Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him across the face. “Since when did the Spirit of the Lord leave me to speak to you?” he demanded. 24 And Micaiah replied, “You will find out soon enough when you are trying to hide in some secret room!” 25 “Arrest him!” the king of Israel ordered. “Take him back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to my son Joash. 26 Give them this order from the king: ‘Put this man in prison, and feed him nothing but bread and water until I return safely from the battle!’” But Micaiah replied, “If you return safely, it will mean that the Lord has not spoken through me!” Then he added to those standing around, “Everyone mark my words!” (II Chronicles 18:23-26 NLT).

Jehoshaphat saw this, and yet did not lift his hand to help the Prophet of God.

When King Jehoshaphat of Judah arrived safely home in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him. “Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” he asked the king. “Because of what you have done, the Lord is very angry with you. 3 Even so, there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles throughout the land, and you have committed yourself to seeking God” (II Chronicles 19:1-3 NLT).

Because the LORD was merciful to him, Jehoshaphat returned in peace. However, the LORD was very displeased with Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab.

Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he went out among the people, traveling from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, encouraging the people to return to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 5 He appointed judges throughout the nation in all the fortified towns, 6 and he said to them, “Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the Lord. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. 7 Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes” (II Chronicles 19:4-7 NLT).

Civil duties were to be carried out strictly according to the Word of the LORD.

In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests and clan leaders in Israel to serve as judges for cases involving the Lord’s regulations and for civil disputes. 9 These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart. 10 Whenever a case comes to you from fellow citizens in an outlying town, whether a murder case or some other violation of God’s laws, commands, decrees, or regulations, you must warn them not to sin against the Lord, so that he will not be angry with you and them. Do this and you will not be guilty (II Chronicles 19:8-10 NLT).

There was to be justice for the poor, and the rich were not to be able to buy their way out of wrongdoing.

“Amariah the high priest will have final say in all cases involving the Lord. Zebadiah son of Ishmael, a leader from the tribe of Judah, will have final say in all civil cases. The Levites will assist you in making sure that justice is served. Take courage as you fulfill your duties, and may the Lord be with those who do what is right” (II Chronicles 19:11 NLT).

Jehovah God promises to be with those who did what was right.

My son, if you be surety for your friend, if you have stricken your hand with a stranger, you are snared with the words of your mouth, you are taken with the words of your mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself, when you are come into the hand of your friend; go, humble, yourself, and make sure your friend.  Give not sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids.  Deliver yourself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler (Prov 6:1-5 KJV).