Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Foolish King Jehoshophat

By Mary Vee
I Kings 22


From A Messenger's Journal


I am a messenger from king Ahab's court. Sometimes my job involves sneaking to another city, listening for news then reporting it back to the court.

This time I did not need to report my news. 

Despite the warnings of the prophet Micaiah not to go to battle, king Jehoshaphat agreed to help king Ahab fight his battle against the king of Aram. 

When I sneaked into Ramoth-Gilead, I heard the king of Aram order his thirty-two commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel." I was surprised he only wanted to attack king Ahab and not the army.

I reported the news back to king Ahab.

As they prepared for battle, king Ahab said to king Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes."

This seemed strange to me, but Jehoshaphat agreed. Jehoshaphat mounted his royal chariot, dressed in his royal robes, while Ahab marched in disguise with the other soldiers. Jehoshaphat's clothing looked different from Ahab's, but would the king of Aram know the difference?

The battle began. I marched with the soldiers. Ahab road in a chariot to my left. We advanced against Ramoth Gilead. The enemy marched against us, shouting orders. We pressed forward in battle but found chariots dodging our men. 

Their army steered toward Jehoshaphat's chariot. We tried to protect him, but their soldiers moved with such power.  Jehoshaphat shouted, "I am not the king of Israel!" Their army stopped chasing him, following the command of their king.

One of king Aram's soldiers drew his bow and shot into our army anyway, hitting king Ahab. The arrow pierced the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Turn around, I have been wounded."

The battle continued throughout the day. I stayed with the king, nursing his wound with a few others. We propped him up inside his chariot and facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died.

As the sun set, we shouted, "Every man to his town. Every one to his own land."

The doctors carried Ahab back to the city. I was told to insure Jehoshaphat returned safely. 

When he arrived at his palace, a prophet named Jehu greeted him with a message. "My king. Why did you help the wicked king, Ahab, the very man who hates the Lord? Because you did, the wrath of the Lord is upon you. The Lord has said there is some good in you, however. You have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God."

I didn't get to hear what his punishment would be before I returned to Samaria. 

King Ahab was buried in Samaria. His chariot was washed in a pool and the dogs licked up his blood, just as the Lord had said.

All of Israel celebrated the crowning of Ahaziah, Ahab's son, as king over Israel.

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photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com

1. King ___________ and King ___________ went to battle against ___________.
2. King _______________ wore his royal robes into battle.
3. King _______________ did not. He wore a disguise.
4. King _______________ ordered his men to only attack ______________.
5. The enemy chased king ____________ but stopped when they realized he was the wrong man.
6. A stray arrow flew and hit king _______________. He died that night.
7. When king ___________ returned a prophet greeted him with a message from the Lord. 
8. What did King Jehosophat do wrong?

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