1 Kings 22 Jehoshaphat part 15

 

Last week weak we finished up looking at what happened to King Ahab and we were learned a little bit about the King we are going to talk about tonight. Tonight we will be looking at Jehoshaphat and if you are using the hand out I gave you will see that he became king after Asa died and he is king of the southern kingdom. In first 1 Kings 22:41 we are given a short description of Jehoshaphatís reign and so very little of lesson will come from the verses tonight because we have a much more detailed account of this great king starting in 2 Chronicles 17.

 

2 Chronicles 17:1 Then Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place, and strengthened himself against Israel.2 And he placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had taken.3 Now the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of his father David; he did not seek the Baals,4 but sought the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.5 Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah gave presents to Jehoshaphat, and he had riches and honor in abundance.6 And his heart took delight in the ways of the LORD; moreover he removed the high places and wooden images from Judah.

 

If you will recall Asa was a king who faithful to God overall and now his son who was raised by his example wants to be pleasing to God as well. This goes to show you that we parents have a great influence on how children will be with they grow up. Since Jehoshaphat was so faithful, God established his kingdom. Now I want to point out in verse 6 we can see that he took down the high places in Judah however he did not take down all the high places everywhere and so that is why we see in other places where it simply says that he did not take downthe high places such as in 1 Kings 22:43.

 

2 Chronicles 17:7 Also in the third year of his reign he sent his leaders, Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.8 And with them he sent Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah -- the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests.9 So they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the LORD with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.10 And the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat.

 

You really have to appreciate what he was doing here because he was making sure that his people understood what God expected from them. Because of His great efforts he was blessed by God and has the respect of the kingdom around him. This is further shown as we continue on.

 

2 Chronicles 17:11 Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver as tribute; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred male goats.12 So Jehoshaphat became increasingly powerful, and he built fortresses and storage cities in Judah.13 He had much property in the cities of Judah; and the men of war, mighty men of valor, were in Jerusalem.

 

As you can see he even had the respect of the Philistines. Now the rest of the verses of this chapter just give you the number of men had ready for war and how they helped fortify his cities.

 

We already looked at the events that takes place in chapter 18 which has to do with Jehoshaphat and King Ahab joining forces to take back Ramoth Gilead. One detailI want to point out comes from verse 1.

 

2 Chronicles 18:1 Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and by marriage he allied himself with Ahab.

 

We find out later in 2 Chron. 21:6 that Jehoshaphatís son Jehoram married Ahabís daughters. This is what bound them together and this was one of the mistakes that Jehoshaphat makes by joining forces with the evil king Ahab. If you will remember Jehoshaphat wanted to hear a word from God on whether they should go to battle or not and he did not want to hear it from the 400 false prophets of Ahab. Then the prophet of God Micaiah came and told them that they should not go to battle and that if they did Ahab would be killed. Well, the decide to go against the prophets word and enter into battle and sure enough Ahab dies as we looked at last week and Jehoshaphat almost lost his life.

 

After this happens we find out what Jehoshaphat does next as we look at,

 

2 Chronicles 19:1 Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned safely to his house in Jerusalem.2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you.3 "Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God."

 

As Jehoshaphat was resting up in safety Jehu comes and speaks 2 things against him. 1. He was guilty of helping the wicked which of course is referring to King Ahab as he was at that time the most wicked king that had ever lived. 2. He was guilty of helping those who hated God. Again this is a reference to Ahab and all of Israel because the entire northern kingdom was engaging in worshiping false Godís and living in sin. This is how they showed their hate for God because if you love God you will live by his commandments. Just as Jesus told us in,

 

John 14:15 " If you love Me, keep My commandments.

 

Now Jehu didnít just have bad things to say because also points out the good of how he had been removing the high places and how heart was prepared to seek God. This was all it tookfor Jehoshaphat to get stirred once again for God because as we are about to see, he is going to start working hard on what he began to do in the beginning of his reign and that is to get rid of the false way and make to sure his people understand what God wants from them.

 

2 Chronicles 19:4 So Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD God of their fathers.5 Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,6 and said to the judges, "Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.7 "Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes."8 Moreover in Jerusalem, for the judgment of the LORD and for controversies, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the chief fathers of Israel, when they returned to Jerusalem.9 And he commanded them, saying, "Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart:10 "Whatever case comes to you from your brethren who dwell in their cities, whether of bloodshed or offenses against law or commandment, against statutes or ordinances, you shall warn them, lest they trespass against the LORD and wrath come upon you and your brethren. Do this, and you will not be guilty.11 "And take notice: Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king's matters; also the Levites will be officials before you. Behave courageously, and the LORD will be with the good."

 

From the text we just read you can see how determined Jehoshaphat was to restore his people back to God.

First, he "brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers" (2 Chr. 19:4).

Second, he set up judges in all the cities.He reminded them that they were judging "not for man, but for the Lord" (2 Chr. 19:6).They were to judge in fear of the Lord (2 Chr. 19:7a).They were to show "no respect of persons."They were not to take gifts or bribes (2 Chr. 19:7b).

Third, he also set up Levites and priests "for the judgment of the Lord, and for controversies" (2 Chr. 19:8).

 

As Jehoshaphat was working on reforming his people we find out in chapter 20 that his enemies have joined forces and they are attacking him and he realizes that he cannot stand against them alone so he must rely upon God and he prays a beautiful prayer calling on God for His help.

 

2 Chronicles 20:1 It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar" (which is En Gedi).3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

 

We see 4 things happening to Jehoshaphat. 1. He was afraid of his enemy which led him to seek the Lord. 3. He called a fast. 4 Everyone came together to petition the Lord in prayer. I really like this because these people recognized that they needed the help of God. Many times today people want to try and do everything themselves and they will not ask God for help no matter what but this should not be the case. We need to start relyingmore upon God for the enemies that are in our life. The more we depend on God the closer we will grow toward him and realize how much we need him in our lives. Now let take a look at this great prayer.

 

2 Chronicles 20:5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,6 and said: "O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?7 "Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?8 "And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying,9 'If disaster comes upon us -- sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine -- we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.'10 "And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir -- whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them --11 "here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.12 "O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.

 

As you can see Jehoshaphat was pouring his heart out to God and reminding him how powerful he is and weak they are. He wanted God guidance because he did not know what to do and he reminds him that these people who are attacking them are the same ones he didnít allow the children of Israel to destroy earlier and now they are rewarding his mercy by attack his people now. All these people were joined together in agreement with this prayer to God for help.

 

2 Chronicles 20:14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.15 And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.16 'Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.17 'You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you."18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.

 

So after the prayed to God, God responded through this prophet telling they have nothing to fear because this battle belongs to the Lord and in fact they wont even have to fight in it and they are instructed where to go so they can watch God at work. Then you can see just how thankful and how confident these people were that God would do exactly what he said as they bowed down and worshiped God and how other stood up and praised God for what he was about to do.

 

2 Chronicles 20:20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper."21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever."22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.26 And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.

 

It stories like these in the OT that gives us hope today because they show without a doubt that when we pray God listens and he responds. When he says he is going to do something he does what he says every single time. These OT stories just further confirm that we can believe with our whole hearts that the promises that are made to us under the new covenant are absolutely true and we should be like Judah here who are praising and worshiping God for what he is going to do for us according to His word and course we should also be just as thankful for what He has already done for us and what He is doing for us today.

 

God caused all the enemies to turn on themselves and not one had escaped and you can tell there must have been a great number of these men for it to take 3 whole days for the people of Judah to collect all the spoils these people had with them. Once again on the 4th day the people rejoiced in this wonderful thing he had done to protect them and especially since they didnít even have to fight in the battle at all.

 

2 Chronicles 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies.28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.30 Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.††

 

As they made there way back home they continued on being very thankful for what God had done for them and the other kingdoms heard about how God had delivered them that day and because of this they had peace all around.

 

2 Chronicles 20:31 So Jehoshaphat was king over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.32 And he walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD.33 Nevertheless the high places were not taken away, for as yet the people had not directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh) king of Israel, who acted very wickedly.36 And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.37 But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh), the LORD has destroyed your works." Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

 

Here were are given a little more information about Jehoshaphat and we find out that he makes another mistake by joining forces with Ahab son Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh) who was now the new king of Israel. Eliezer the prophet condemns this relationship and just a God said their works were destroyed which were the ships. Now based on 1 Kings account it seems that Jehoshaphat tells Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh) that he cannot be partners with him after he had received the word from the prophet but it still didnít change things because the boats were still destroyed.

 

1 Kings 22:48 Jehoshaphat made merchant ships to go to Ophir for gold; but they never sailed, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber.49 Then Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh) the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "Let my servants go with your servants in the ships." But Jehoshaphat would not.50 And Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David his father. Then Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

Now before we end our lesson tonight and the book of 1 Kings I want to read the last few verses that tell us a little bit about Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh). However, when start looking at 2 Kings we will take a closer look at his life because he found in 2 Kings as well.

 

1 Kings 22:51 Ahaziah (a-huh-zie-uh) the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.52 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin;53 for he served Baal and worshiped him, and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.