Wednesday, 29th September 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-7 – The Weakness of Jehoshaphat
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went down to visit Ahab the king of Israel. During the time, Ahab repented before God and people, but he did not take actions to get rid of all the idols and false prophets. When Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” But in fact, Judah was a nation worshipping God whereas Israel was a nation worshipping idols at the time. The Israel was a stronger nation with a larger army and more chariots, therefore it seemed to be a very good deal for Jehoshaphat.
However even though Ahab repented, he did not deal with the problems of his life. He only sought the prophets of his preference. After the prophets told Ahab the good news, Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?” We can see that the four hundred prophets Ahab gathered were not of the Lord. It seemed that Jehoshaphat only wanted peace between Israel and Judah. God let Jehoshaphat to be the king of Judah not to please Ahab, but to know his authority over the nation and to fully rely on God.
Section Two V8-40 The Weakness of Ahab
When Jehoshaphat asked, Ahab said, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” From here we learnt that Ahab knew Micaiah was the prophet of the Lord, who would say something that he did not like to hear. But somehow Ahab also knew what Micaiah was right. Ahab could have killed Micaiah because Jezebel was already killing all the prophets of the Lord. God was giving Ahab another chance after he repented by sending Micaiah, sadly, Ahab hated Micaiah and was not willing to listen. Ahab was not willing to face the guidance of the One True God, even when God was helping him again and again by sending prophets to speak to him and taking away the curses on him.
So Micaiah came and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?” Micaiah answered him, “Go and prosper, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king!” So the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Ahab knew from the beginning what God would say to him, and he knew that Micaiah was not telling the truth.
Then Micaiah said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.’” Ahab knew Micaiah was the prophet of the Lord because he didn’t dare to kill Micaiah. But he did not let Micaiah come close to him, furthermore he put him far away and let him suffer in prison. Ahab said, “Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and water of affliction, until I come in peace.” But Micaiah said, “If you ever return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Take heed, all you people!”
Deep inside Ahab’s heart, he knew Micaiah was right, therefore he disguised himself and went into battle. Furthermore, he let Jehoshaphat take the lead and be the target of the enemy. However, despite of Ahab’s wicked plan, he was still killed in the battle. After Ahab died, a shout went throughout the army, saying, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country!” The people of Israel still had God in their hearts, they remembered the prophecy of Micaiah and went away in peace like what he said.
Ahab had many opportunities to turn back but he still lived in his flesh desires, he hated those who spoke the truth to him so at the end, nobody would speak the truth and it costed his life and the blessings of his future generations.
Section Three V41-53 The Decision of Jehoshaphat
Jehoshaphat had his weakness, and Ahab also had his weakness. Ahab made the decision that costed his life, but how did Jehoshaphat make his decision? Jehoshaphat was 35 years old when he became king, and he was king of Judah until he was 60 years old. And he walked in all the ways of his father Asa. He did not turn aside from them, doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away, for the people offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. Everything was recorded in the Bible; everything was in the eyes of the Lord. Our entire lives are exposed before God, and we cannot hide anything from Him.
Jehoshaphat made merchant ships to go to Ophir for gold; but they never sailed, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber. Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat would not. When Jehoshaphat saw the environment was against him, he knew it was time to stop. Jehoshaphat made the decision not to go with the king of Israel, because he heard the words of Micaiah and he saw what happened to Ahab. Jehoshaphat made the decision to set himself and his nation apart. It requires humility and obedience to set ourselves apart, because God will not let us follow our own ways but His Way.
God has been doing so much to remind us to live under the Tree of Life and to turn back from our wicked ways. Let God help us to decide and choose wisely.
Worship: I Want to go to a Place 找一個地方https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaGmIbL3l04
V1-4 约沙法是当时犹大的王，亚撒的儿子。亚哈在悔改之后，神的保守就来到，“亚兰国和以色列国三年没有争战”，以色列国泰民安。并且，以色列国和犹大国也没有打仗。亚哈王虽然有懊悔死行，可他是否有将国内全部的偶像都除去呢？从后面的记载可以看出他在行动并未完全改变。亚哈王跟约沙法王说要一起去攻取基列的拉末，约沙法竟然说“我的民与你的民一样”- 然而，一个拜偶像的国家和一个敬拜神的国家还是不一样的。犹大国只有两个支派，竟然可以对抗以色列国十个支派，所以犹大国的军事实力是很强大的。犹大国靠的不是车不是马，是靠耶和华方能成事，而以色列国靠的是自己的战车战马。犹大王约沙法被亚哈表面的悔改蒙蔽，不希望再与以色列国打下去了，就说了两国的民和马都“一样”的话。
V22 -25 米该雅把自己看到的实情说出来，假先知西底家就打他的脸，质疑米该雅的话。米该雅回复的原文意思是说：“你若真的去禁食祷告寻求神的时候就会看见”。这些假先知没有寻求耶和华神，所以不能看见米该雅所看见的。
V28 米该雅当时是在“撒马利亚城门前的空场”(V10) 对以色列十个支派的众人说话。他所说的“这话”指的是在第17节“我看见以色列众民散在山上，如同没有牧人的羊群一般。耶和华说：‘这民没有主人，他们可以平平安安地各归各家去。’”。这话之后就应验了。
V29-40 亚哈王知道米该雅说的是对的，所以他“改装上阵”，让约沙法王看上去好像领兵的以色列王一样。亚兰王也计划只找以色列王来杀。亚哈王明明知道米该雅讲的是从神而来的话，却是恨他，将他关在监狱里，然而，亚哈的逃避是没有用的。约沙法王没有被杀死，反而亚哈王被人随便开弓就阵亡了。“约在日落的时候，有号令传遍军中，说：‘各归本城，各归本地吧！’”（V36）- 众人听过米该雅之前的预言（V28)，就照着他所说“平平安安”离开了。
V47-49 神没有离开大卫的子孙犹大国。 约沙法可能是想效法祖先去运金子，但是运输的船被破坏了。这时，试探来了，亚哈的儿子亚哈谢想要帮约沙法。约沙法有了前车之鉴，知道神用环境阻挡这件事情，所以选择没有继续跟以色列国合作。
V51-53 “亚哈的儿子亚哈谢……做以色列王共二年”。 如果约沙法听了亚哈谢的话，他可能在作王17年的时候就结束了。约沙法王亲耳听见米该雅的预言，也看到亚哈王的结局，就愿意分别出来。我们听了神给我们的提醒，看到周围事情的发生，是否能够警醒，是否愿意分别出来？神不会完全照着我们的方式来做事，我们是否愿意谦卑跟从神？生与死、祝福与咒诅都摆在我们面前，我们如何选择？求神帮助我们有智慧地去分别、去选择。