Heed God’s Word And God’s Way

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Many people do not read the Old Testament because it often seems confusing. It can be confusing. However, there are great truths in the Old Testament that relate directly to our modern day lives. One of the stories that relate to us today is the story of King Jehoshaphat, King Ahab, and a prophet named Micaiah, the son of Imla.

King Jehoshaphat

King Jehoshaphat was a good king who ruled over Judah. The Bible says of Jehoshaphat:

2 Chronicles 17:3-4 …. the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4 but sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.

Jehoshaphat walked” in the ways of his ancestor King David. He did not worship false gods, here literally called “Baal”. Baal was the supreme male god of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites. When Solomon, King David’s son, first dedicated the Temple in 2 Chronicles 7, the Bible tells us:

2 Chronicles 7:12-14 the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; {my note … could this be the Coronavirus, this “pestilence”?} 14 if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God told His people – and us who profess to be Christian – to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek HIS face. Not the false gods and goddesses of our land, but the Lord of Scripture. But this is not where God left it. He said that His people are to “turn from their wicked ways”. Beloved, the Bible declares:

Romans 6:23 … the wages of sin is death

Blessing will not come to the land until God’s people do as He says. Jehoshaphat did as God said. Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto {Baal}. Jehoshaphat sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments. Jehoshaphat honored the God of the Bible, and God blessed his life.

2 Chronicles 17:5-6 Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 6 And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

Jesus tells us in …

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Blessings come when we follow God. Jehoshaphat followed God. His heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord. He did not halfheartedly follow God, but enjoyed following the Lord. Jehoshaphat removed the altars to the false gods and goddesses that were in the land. He also sent out teachers into the land to tell the people about the Lord. We are told:

2 Chronicles 17:9 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.

What was the result of this? There was peace in the land. As the people drew near to God through His Word, God drew near to them. The Bible says:

2 Chronicles 17:10 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.

There was prosperity in the land because the leadership of Judah loved God. Cities were built. Businesses flourished. The military of that land became great (2 Chronicles 17:12-13). But then Jehoshaphat messed up.

King Ahab

2 Chronicles 18:1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

Jehoshaphat had all that he needed. There was peace in the land. He and his people had riches, and honor in abundance. There was no one going to make war with Judah, because Judah was protected by God. But then Jehoshaphat joined forces with Ahab. Who was Ahab?

Ahab was the King of Israel, the ten northern tribes. When Solomon died, his son Rehoboam over taxed the northern tribes. They revolted against the Throne of David, and made their own nation, a second Israel. As a separate nation they called Jeroboam to be their King. Jeroboam was the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of Ahab. The Bible tells us …

1 Kings 16:30-33 Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. 32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.

Ahab would lead Israel far away from God. He worshiped the false god Baal, and commanded this to be the state religion. Elijah told Ahab:

1 Kings 18:18 … I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.

Ahab sent his prophets of Baal to Mount Carmel to challenge Elijah and the God of the Scripture. Elijah called fire down from Heaven, calling upon God in prayer, saying:

1 Kings 18:36-39 … Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

The 450 prophets of Baal who stood against Elijah were executed that day. Yet Ahab did not repent. He continued in the worship of Baal, continued to reject the God of Scripture.

Jehoshaphat had no reason to join forces with this evil king – but he did. Oh Beloved, God tells His people:

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

God’s children are to be in the world, but not of the world. Jehoshaphat should have known better. I do not know why he did it, but he joined forces – actually making a treaty – with Ahab. Ahab wanted to attack and conquer the Aramean held city of Ramoth-gilead. When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to go with him to Ramoth-gilead, Jehoshaphat, as a believer, told Ahab:

2 Chronicles 18:4 … Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day.

He wanted Ahab to ask a godly prophet what the Lord’s will was before he committed to following Ahab. Ahab called his false prophets, asking them:

2 Chronicles 18:5 … Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.

These false prophets were not in tune with God. They were only saying what they thought Ahab wanted to hear. However,

2 Chronicles 18:6 … Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?

Jehoshaphat was not impressed with the large number of false prophets. He just wanted to hear what God said through JUST ONE prophet of the true God.

The Prophet Micaiah, The Son Of Imlah

2 Chronicles 18:7 … 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.

J. Vernon McGee once said:

Someone has said that a man is not really known by his friends. Rather, he is known by his enemies. Every man ought to make sure that he has the right enemies. The best compliment that could be paid to Micaiah was for Ahab to say, ‘I hate him.'””

That is so true. When you stand for the Lord, you will make enemies. Jesus said to us:

John 15:18-20 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

In our world today there are many false prophets who will tell you what you want to hear. But they will not tell you what God has said. Ahab was mad at Micaiah because he didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear. People are often mad at Bible teachers and preachers because they do not tickle their ears. The Apostle warned Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

To endorse a lie as the truth is not only to mislead people, but you can possible draw people to destruction. Ahab had his select false prophets who only told him what he wanted to hear. But he hated Micaiah, for Micaiah told him what GOD wanted him to hear.

Are You Of The 400? Or Micaiah?

Beloved, when you tell others that God endorses other than male/ Female marriages, you have become one of the 400 Ahab listened to. When you declare that sexual infidelity prior to marriage is perfectly fine, you have become one of the 400 Ahab listened to. When you begin to preach evolution, believing that man evolved from apes, but was never created by God from the dust of the ground, you are one of the 400 that Ahab listened to. When you declare abortion is acceptable to the God Who made us, you have become one of the 400 that Ahab listened to. Ahab didn’t want to hear the Biblical truth. Ahab didn’t want to hear the Word of the Lord. Ahab just wanted to hear what would support his feelings, his desires, his wants.

But then they call for Micaiah. The messenger that Ahab sent to Micaiah said:

2 Chronicles 18:12 … 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 theirs, and speak thou good.

Now the pressure is on Micaiah. There are 400 false prophets talking to both Ahab and Jehoshaphat. Micaiah is the lone prophet of God. What will he do? Well, Micaiahis actually one of the four disciples of Elijah (J. D., Eisenstein, Otzar Midrashim, vol.1 (New York: Noble, 1915), p. 173. Hupat Etivahu, part four, number 47). I believe Micaiah had been there when Elijah stood against the 450 prophets of Baal. Now he is confronted with 400 prophets of Baal, and a very wicked King Ahab. What will he do? Micaiah tells the messenger:

2 Chronicles 18:13 … As the Lord liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak..

As the Lord liveth” is the Hebrew יְהֹוָה Yahweh חַי chay, {pronounced khah’-ee}, which is a play on words. He says “As the Ever Living, Always Living God says, that I will speak”. His attention is not fixed on what others think of him. His attention is not fixed on popular opinion, or majority rule. Micaiah was going to preach what God told him to preach, regardless as to the outcome. The world needs preachers and teachers like this, people who are not afraid of speaking the Word of God. Micaiah comes to where Ahab and Jehoshaphat are, and Ahab asks Micaiah:

2 Chronicles 18:14 … Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?

Micaiah knew what Ahab wanted to hear, so he told Jehoshaphat sarcastically answers him:

2 Chronicles 18:14 … Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.

When Jehoshaphat pressed Micaiah for the truth, he said:

2 Chronicles 18:16 … 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.

Ahab said, “Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?” 2 Chronicles 18:17. Ahab thought that Elijah and Micaiah were his enemies, but they were not. The Bible tells us that we are to be:

Ephesians 4:15 …. speaking the truth in love

The Prophet, Pastor, or Teacher of God is obligated to speak the Word of God. The hearer can then hear and repent, or sulk and hate the messenger. God’s will will be done! Micaiah continues with:

2 Chronicles 18:18-22 … 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. 19 And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? 21 And 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. 22 Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken {destruction} against thee.

This is a very interesting text of Scripture. Because Ahab rejected the Word of God, first from Elijah, then from Micaiah, God gave him over to lying spirits. God will reach out and try to lead people into the way of Christ. But if people continue to resist, then God give them over. He backs up and says, “All right – you wanted it – here it is!”. We see the same thing in:

Romans 1:21-28 when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

God tells us what is the truth. When we refuse to hear it, and reject His Word repeatedly, then God backs away. Ahab was planting and had been planting the seeds of his own destruction. When you reject the way of God, you walk a path to destruction. God is in control. God is always true. What He tells us to do, He tells us from a heart of love and care.

Ahab refused to repent. He told his servants:

2 Chronicles 18:26-27 … Put this fellow {Micaiah} in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace. 27 And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the Lord spoken by me.

King Ahab does not heed Micaiah, but had him imprisoned. And what of King Jehoshaphat? We read:

2 Chronicles 18:28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.

The believing King Jehoshaphat is unequally yoked with King Ahab – and they both lead their people to battle. God has already determined the destruction of Ahab. Jehoshaphat almost got killed himself because of his foolishness. The Bible says that:

2 Chronicles 18:31-32 … Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 32 For 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.

Ahab died that day on the battlefield. An archer fired an arrow in the air, and it ended up in the weakest part of Ahab’s armor. It was the grace of God that Jehoshaphat was not killed.

Beloved, follow the Lord. Christians, do not unequally yoke yourselves with unbelievers. Heed the Word of God. Do what He tells you to do. Do not believe that you can keep one foot in the world and one foot in God’s Kingdom. When Jehoshaphat got back to Jerusalem:

2 Chronicles 19:2-3 …. Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. 3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.

God hold His followers accountable. The stepbrother of Christ put it this eway:

James 4:4 … know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

You and I are called to be ambassadors for Christ. We are called to be light in the Lord. We are to both love, and follow our God. We are never to enter into an intimate relationship with the lost. Live your lives, not like Ahab, nor like Ahab’s 400, but like Micaiah.

All glory to God in the highest! Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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