One of the passages I read today is one of the most interesting ones in the Bible, in my opinion. This is because it gives a tiny little bit of insight into the doings of our God, in a similar fashion to the books of Job or Revelation. I am always fascinated when I can see a little of God’s glory and supremacy like that!
The text is in 1 Kings 22:1-40. A few quick words on the setting: Jehoshaphat reigns in Judah. One of the better kings in history, he lives for the Lord (He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. v. 43a). He also married family of Ahab, who reigned over Israel.This is one of the most evil kings in the history of God’s people. He pretty much always did the opposite of what God had ordained. (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel. Chapter 21:25f)
The first part of this text can teach us a few very important things that apply in manhood, leadership, worship, life, and everything else important.
Finding a godly wife
As an aside, I want to briefly point out the significance of Ahab’s wife. Not much, because one could write an entire series of posts about that. Suffice to say that there was (and is!) a good reason for God to forbid marriage with heathens. In marrying her, he practically doomed his kingdom – We should be very, very careful in choosing a wife..!
Seeking the will of God
After the kings agreed to retake Ramoth, Jehoshaphat does the wise thing: And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the Lord.” (v. 5.) Ahab is afraid of doing this, so he gathers his own prophets who all tell him what he wants to hear: that he should go to war. But Jehoshaphat stays persistent.
But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?”And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” (vs. 7f)
Ahab is a coward of a kind we all know oh so well. He is afraid of even verifying if his plans are conform to the will of God where he should have checked beforehand and not made these plans in the first place! I have to be very careful about this. This applies everywhere: Be it with the choice of a partner (or the type of relationship for that matter), what to do with that partner, when to marry, what to buy, where to work, how to invest one’s free time, what to read and watch, where to look, etc pp, it is often a lot more comfortable not to ask God about things – or even to ignore what we know from scripture.
May this passage act as a reminder to seek the will of God in every choice we make… Jehoshaphat is a great role model here, because he sincerely tries to find out what the Lord has to say.