Have you ever found yourself in a mess that you created?
Financial problems, relationship difficulties, academic struggles, schedule conflicts, or job delimas – these things can at times be a result of poor choices we have made.
“So what”, you may ask? “Why are you rubbing my failures in my face? I can’t do anything about them.”
There is an account in 2 Chronicles, of a king of Judah named Jehoshaphat. He was a good king, who strove to please the Lord. God was blessing Jehoshaphat because of his faithfulness and service.
“And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim” – 2 Chronicles 17:3
One day, the evil Ahab, King of Israel, came to ask Jehoshaphat to go into battle with him.
“And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth–gilead?”
Jehoshaphat knew that Ahab was a pretty horrible man. Ahab and his wife served Baal, and it is said that worshippers of Baal sacrificed their babies to this false god. Not only that, his wife, Jezabel, was persecuting and murdering the prophets of God.
What Jehoshaphat did next was pretty dumb. He agreed to help evil Ahab.
“And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.” – 2 Chronicles 18:3
2 Chronicles goes on to tell us that Jehoshaphat demanded for Ahab to call in a prophet of God, to seek wisdom from God if they should go to battle.
“And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day.” – 2 Chronicles 18:4
Ahab reluctantly calls in a prophet named Micaiah, but he whines to Jehoshaphat that this prophet never tells him what he wants to hear.
“but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil” – 2 Chronicles 18:7
Of course, Micaiah tells the kings to not go to battle, that they would not be successful. Ahab becomes angry, and demands he be put in jail. As the prophet is being dragged away to prison, you can hear his shouts to everyone in the room.
“If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the Lord spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people.” – 2 Chronicles 18:27
For some reason, Jehoshaphat did not listen to the prophet. It was probably peer pressure. Instead, the kings suited up and rode off to battle. When they arrive at the battle field, Ahab has an idea.
“I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes.”- 2 Chronicles 18:29
He convinced Jehoshaphat to wear his kingly attire in the battle, while he himself puts on a disguise. It becomes clear to the reader at this point, that Ahab was only using Jehoshaphat to divert the enemy’s attention away from himself. Unfortunately, Jehoshaphat is so taken with Ahab, he doesn’t see the foolishness in his decision to go along with the plan.
The battle quickly becomes heated and Jehoshaphat finds himself surrounded by the enemy. They must have noticed him, or something.
“And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight:”
It probably hit Jehoshaphat at that very moment, going into battle with Ahab was a stupid idea.
Sometimes we don’t realize our folly until it is about to do us harm.
Jehoshaphat cries out to God at the last moment, begging for help. The next part is what amazes me.
“but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.” – 2 Chronicles 18:31
Yes, you read that right.
“AND THE LORD HELPED HIM.”
Have you ever done something so stupid that you decided praying about it wouldn’t help? God would never help you, because you got yourself in this mess to begin with?
Don’t believe that lie! If you are a child of God, He wants you to cry out to Him when you are in trouble. Even if the trouble is of your own making!
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7