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II Kings 3-4:17

What I love about the bible are all the personal stories of the Patriarchs, the Prophets and kings. To me their stories are like Case Studies that I can observe, study and see all the warts, mistakes, miss-steps and obedience to God or lack there of. Since we live in a “Cause and Effect” world, I don’t have to bop myself upside the head repeating the same mistakes they did. If I study carefully their choices and the subsequent consequences, I can avoid failing down the same well they did. There are so many traps laid out to catch us and it is wonderful to have inside knowledge of how the devil operates, as well as avoiding those choices that eminent from my focus on “self.”

Jehoshaphat again aligns himself with Ahab’s family. This time it is his son, Joram. The last time this happened he almost got himself killed (I Kings 22), yet he again forms a pact with Israel. However because Jehosaphat is with Joram, the prophet Elisha, given the Word of the Lord regarding the battle, tolerates Joram and God gives them a great victory. How many people think they are all that and a bag of chips because they have been involved in something that is successful; however, the success of the project is not because they have clean hands or favor with God, it is because someone on the team is being honored by God because God is giving them respect and favor. I know I have been guilty of that.

We would laugh if we found out that the donkey Jesus rode on in his triumphant entry into Jerusalem thought that all the cheering was for him. But we are like the donkey when we take credit for things that succeed because we think it’s all about us; instead of realizing that the victories we experience, the favor we have, come because God sees us through the prism of His Son, Jesus. When God looks at me, a Christian, He does not see me He sees Jesus.

Isaiah 64:

6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Acts 14:8-28

When someone who can walk is injured and has to stay off their feet for even one week, when they become ambulatory again, they have a problem with balance. If someone is immobilized for an extended period, they usually go to a rehabilitation hospital to learn to walk and move again. This man that was healed had never walked before so not only did he receive strength in his feet to walk, he got instantaneous control of muscles he had never used before. That is just awesome.

Psalm 140:1-13

I imagine that David wrote this Psalm as he dodged King Saul’s dogged attempt to catch and kill him. Instead of trying to ambush and kill Saul or using the two opportunities that walked into his life to take Saul out, David gave the job of extracting vengeance over to God. David is such a role model to follow when others have wronged us and we want to get our pound of flesh. God takes care of all those who come against His servants and children. That is knowledge that I need to get deep down inside of me.

Proverbs 17:22

How we approach the day, how we respond to our situations and circumstances is a matter of choice, always was, is and will be. Circumstances shouldn’t color our day, we should color our circumstances with a joyful attitude. Happiness is based on circumstances; joy is based on knowing the outcome. As Christians, we are more than conquers which implies that we will have things to conquer, but we win!

As the Apostle Paul states, 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4)

Grace and peace,

Mike and everyone,
2 Kings 3:1-4:17
i was inspired by a sermon by Simon Robinson called "Under the Influence" at sermoncentral.com:
Jehoshophat had already been rebuked by the Lord (through His Prophets) for his alliance with the last 2 Kings.
2 Chronicles 19:2
2 Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 20:37
37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade. (NIV)
And yet when asked by Ahab’s son Joram to join him in battle against Moab,
7b And Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one. My troops are your troops, and my horses are your horses." (2 Kings 3:7b NLT)
Joram, the Scripture tells us -
"He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not to the same extent as his father and mother... he continued in the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had committed and led the people of Israel to commit."(2 Kings 3:2,3 NLT)
And Jehoshaphat only remembered to inquire the Lord's guidance much later, when the alliance of Judah, Israel, and Edom went through wilderness for seven days without water.
In the end, though the Lord did help the three allies, the battle had led to "death, destruction, and human sacrifice", when the Moabites turned to human sacrifice in desperation.
How different would be outcome be if Jehoshaphat had sought out the Lord's guidance at the outset?
May this story be a reminder for us, to daily seek the Lord and His Word as our life's guidance.
"Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord." (Psalm 119:1 NIV)
grateful for Simon Robinson's sermon;
most of all - grateful for God's inspired Word.

God bless you!

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