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Deception Brings Destruction

“But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, ‘First seek the counsel of the Lord.’”

– 2 Chronicles 18:4

Being a good leader means we may have to hear things that we don’t want to hear. This was certainly the case for Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, and Ahab, King of Israel. As we learned yesterday, their two kingdoms were separate; however, once Judah began to enjoy great prosperity, Jehoshaphat wanted to align himself with Israel for the sake of protecting his blessings. There’s strength in numbers, and he knew that if he had the support of his northern neighbor, he would stand a better chance should another nation move in and try to capture his wealth. Unfortunately, King Ahab was not very wise — he was full of himself, and he wanted to utilize the manpower he found in his alliance with Judah to attack the northern country of Ramoth-Gilead, which was occupied by the Syrians. However, being a man of peace who was in tune with God, Jehoshaphat wanted to inquire of the Lord before making such a rash move. To this, Ahab called in 400 “mouthpiece” prophets, whom the Bible says the Lord put a deceiving spirit in, and the whole throng encouraged the two countries to “go for it” and attack the north. Nevertheless, King Jehoshaphat still wasn’t convinced, so he summoned Micaiah, who was known to be a true prophet — one whom Ahab didn’t like because he told him things he didn’t want to hear. Once he arrived, this real man of God prophesied that going to battle against Ramoth-Gilead would be the end for the King of Israel. Of course, the arrogant leader didn’t take kindly to this truth, so he had Micaiah thrown in prison, and he proceeded to carry out the attack. Not surprisingly, when the nations finally did go to war, Ahab was killed and Jehoshaphat barely escaped with his life.

My friend, to whom much is entrusted, much is required. If the Lord has given you the privilege of leading people, steward your responsibility by seeking His guidance and heeding the wisdom He brings through others. Even if they offer feedback you don’t want to hear, listen with an open heart, and ask the Holy Spirit for His discernment. Maintain a humble posture, remain teachable at all times, and let Him have the final say in every decision.

Prayer


Jesus, help me to learn from the story of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, and teach me to invite you into every perplexing situation that I face.

Reflection


How do you handle input from others? Are you defensive or open and teachable?

If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.  

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