Fatal error . . .

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Vol.5, No. 12 – April 12, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor, and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. –2 Chronicles 18:1

Royals desire to perpetuate their power, riches, and influence. Often marriages arrangements are provided for the sons and daughters. They use the marriages to protect their estates and name.

In most of the 35 years in office, Jehoshaphat did well. It was not to be so when it came to arranging the marriage of his son. Jehoshaphat was a loser in this theatre of life. Like father, like son. Dad makes a compromising league/covenant with the king of Syria, a fatal one.

The son cuts a deal with the king of Israel, nearly fatal.

Here is the story.

Ahab throws a party for Jehoshaphat and his aides. Large numbers of sheep and oxen slaughtered, the choice meat culled out. Why? The party is for the purpose of arranging a marriage. Ahab needs Jehoshaphat to join him against “common enemies.” (The enemy of my enemy is my friend.) The enemy is Syria. “Your son wants my daughter, so let’s make a deal!

Jehoshaphat’s response is, “Of course, I am with you all the way. However, we need to check with the Lord first.” Ahab summons 400 of his heathen prophets, and they reply, “Go ahead for God will give you victory.” How could heathen prophets, who did not know Almighty God, speak for Him?

Jehoshaphat shuffles his feet, sweats it out a little, and is not satisfied. “I want a second opinion from a man of God.” The two kings sit on thrones in full regalia, at an open place near the Samaria gate. There is a crowd. (Isn’t there always?) “Let’s go and gore the Syrians to death!

Those who want to accomplish their will, called their own “expert witnesses” to accomplish what they already plotted. (What a common approach in the world of politics!)

Well, the story goes on. And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph. The Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably (18:11-12).

Except. Micaiah tells it like it is—not as Ahab wants it to be told (the way of insincere politics). Micaiah says, “Do not go. God is not in this conspiracy!” A zealous prophet of Ahab turns and slaps Micaiah across the face, yelling, and an insincere prophet would, “You are a liar!

Micaiah is not amused. “If I am a liar, then God would not give me this message!” He addresses Ahab directly, “Ahab, your goose is cooked. You will be through here before the moon comes up!” It takes a politician of great strength to stand against the schemes of ruthless people in leadership; so too, with those in God’s economy.

Now, in spite of the divine warning, the king of Israel, and the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, lead their armies into battle. One of the Syrian soldiers shoots an arrow haphazardly at the troops. It strikes the king of Israel at an opening of the armor (between the lower armor and the breastplate), just as the sun sinks into the skies. He dies.

Jehoshaphat, ashamed and embarrassed, heads back to Jerusalem. He hears the Word of God through the prophet Jehu, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord.”

Life Application

God is not excited with our complacency and drift toward what is not His truth. If we be a compromising people, or a people that is easily sucked into activities that do not bear the integrity of God, we are doomed to repeat the sin life of our history. We need to be a people that earnestly seeks the correct biblical advice of our Great God. To do otherwise is sin.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. –1 John 1:9

Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!

One needs to take great care in listening to people in leadership positions, or those in the media, that think themselves qualified, but who are not qualified, nor have integrity, wisdom, or any sense of the power of Almighty God. God provides discernment and wisdom—He tells us in James, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (1:5-8).

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

April 12, 2020

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