I find it odd that Jehoshaphat even went into battle with Ahab – it was doomed from the start according to the prophecy of Micaiah. He had clearly warned that it would be unsuccessful causing Ahab to die. Maybe he had faith so great he believed he’d be safe? Maybe Ahab was such an impressive king that Jehoshaphat didn’t want to disappoint him? We’ll never know the answer to that but he went apparently unaware of the great danger he’d be in. Ahab even encouraged him to dress regally while he dressed down. Did Ahab believe Jehoshaphat thought it would an honour as he was not dressed in robes? The truth is that Ahab knew how angry the King of Syria was with him as he had not kept the peace agreement made in 1 Kings 20:34. Ahab thought he had deceived the enemy at first when his deception worked. Ahab had forgotten that God is all-knowing and cannot be deceived; Micaiah’s prophecy would come true.
The anger of the King of Syria was highly apparent. His captains had been ordered to attack Ahab and initially they mistook Jehoshaphat for him, confused by the outfits. When Jehoshaphat used his battle cry, the enemy realised that it was not Ahab and backed off.
An arrow was reputedly shot by Naaman hitting Ahab. Ahab ran from the battle, but returned in his chariot to encourage his men to continue the attack. He died later that evening leaving his men to make good their escape. He was buried in Samaria in a proper grave unlike his descendants. His chariot was washed down in a pool, but was so covered in blood that it attracted the dogs who licked the king’s blood as Elijah prophesied in 1 Kings 21:19.
Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. He followed the good ways of his father Asa. He didn’t remove the places of worship on the hills, but removed the males who sold their bodies for sex in the worship of Baal. There was no king in Edom because Judah still controlled it. Ezion Geber was a port in Edom that Jehoshaphat intended to use in a trading scheme that could make him very wealthy; Solomon had succeeded with a similar scheme (1 Kings 9:26-28). Jehoshaphat tried to work with Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, but Jehoshaphat’s scheme failed because a storm destroyed the ships. God wouldn’t allow the plan to succeed; He didn’t want Jehoshaphat to have such a close relationship with Ahab’s family and when Ahaziah again invited Jehoshaphat to trade, Jehoshaphat refused. Jehoshaphat realised because of the storm that the Lord didn’t want him to continue this agreement. Ahaziah only ruled for two years as, like Ahab, Jezebel and Jeroboam, he was an evil ruler who made God angry.
Reading through this passage has made me realise that, whatever we try to do to get our own way, God can put a stop to it. He may not kill us, but He can stop us. This is not because He wants to harm us, rather He loves us so much that He wants us to be safe from evil.
As we live through this time of pandemic and lockdown we need to remember that God is in control of the whole situation and will carry us over to the other side in safety. We are not travelling alone, the footprints we see are God’s not ours. We must trust in Him for our safe passage and we will be safely delivered.
The only prayer I can fit in with this is the Lord’s Prayer – so please take time to pray through the Lord’s prayer today – in particular the words, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done” and “Deliver us from evil”. Finally remember this He is God and He can do ANYTHING!