May 26th 2 Chronicles 16
Asa asks for help from Syria
1: In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2: Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king's house, and sent to Ben-hadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, 3: There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. 4: And Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5: And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease. 6: Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. 7: And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. 8: Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand. 9: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. 10: Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.
11: And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12: And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. 13: And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. 14: And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him.
2 Chronicles 17 Jehoshaphat rules Judah
1: And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. 2: And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. 3: And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4: But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 5: Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 6: And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah. 7: Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Ben-hail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 8: And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests. 9: And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. 10: And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11: Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats. 12: And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store. 13: And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem. 14: And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand. 15: And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand. 16: And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. 17: And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand. 18: And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war. 19: These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.
2 Chronicles 18 Micaiah predicts Jehoshaphat’s end
1: Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. 2: And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead. 3: And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war. 4: And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. 5: Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king's hand. 6: But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him? 7: And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 8: And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla. 9: And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 10: And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed. 11: And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 12: And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good. 13: And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak. 14: And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand. 15: And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD? 16: Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace. 17: And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil? 18: Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19: And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20: Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? 21: And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. 22: Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee. 23: Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? 24: And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. 25: Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; 26: And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace. 27: And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, all ye people.
28: So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29: And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. 30: Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel. 31: 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: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 32: For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him. 33: And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. 34: And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.
In Chapters 16-18 Asa finds himself at war after years of peace and he finds the Lords word is against him. Asa dies after a time of infirmity in his feet and Jehoshaphat reigns in his place. Then Micaiah predicts the end of Jehoshaphat. And then we read of the death of Ahab. After 36 years of peace Asa finds himself at war with Baasha king of Israel. Asa tried at first to pay his way out of trouble then he asked the Syrian king for help in his time of need. And the Syrian king went to attack the rear of Israel so that the King of Israel left off attacking Judah. Then Asa went and took away all of the building materials of Baasha. Then the prophet Hanani went to Asa to speak to him the word of the Lord, saying that because you didn’t turn to the Lord in the day of your trouble you will find that the Syrians will not help you. Don’t you remember how the Ethiopians who were a very great army were destroyed? The Lord looks down on all men in the whole earth and he is strong to help those whose hearts perfectly seek him. Because you have acted foolishly you will have wars after wars. Asa was fuming with the prophet and imprisoned him. And Asa oppressed some of the people at this time. In his later years Asa was diseased in his feet and it was a very great problem to him. Yet in spite of all this, he did not seek the Lord. He had reigned for 41 years. He died and Jehoshaphat reigned in his place. Asa had a great beginning but a sad end. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he lived faithfully with the Lord, like his father David. God blessed him and gave him riches and honour. And he appointed teachers to teach the word of the Lord. They had the word of the Lord and they went around the country teaching the word of the Lord. As a result of their teaching there was a general revival and the fear of the Lord came on the people and on the kingdoms that surrounds Judah. None made war against them Even the Philistines and Arabians brought them gifts. Jehoshaphat became very great and he built cities and store cities. He had a huge army that were totally loyal to him. Then Jehoshaphat joined into affinity with Ahab the northern king. And after a while he went to visit Ahab. Ahab asked Jehoshaphat whether he would support him in war. And he said l am with you and my army. Jehoshaphat said to Ahab shall we enquire of the Lord as to what the Lord directs us to do? So Ahab gathered 400 of his yes men. And he put to them the question shall we go to war? They replied Oh Yes the Lord will bless you in battle. Jehoshaphat was now even more uneasy, so he said don’t you have another prophet of the Lord in Israel and Ahab said Oh yes there is the prophet Micaiah, but l hate him because he always says bad things about me. So they called for him and he came before the kings with the 400 prophets. Micaiah was ‘The 401st Prophet’. On the way Micaiah was told – ‘stick to the party line’. When they brought Micaiah in they put the question to him shall we go to battle and he said sure go ahead. But the king said now tell me the truth like you have always done. So he said l have seen all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. This was indicating that the king would be killed and his army routed. Then Ahab said l told you that he never says good things to me. Then Micaiah said, I saw the Lord sitting on his throne and all the host of heaven gathered around him (An ironic statement considering where Micaiah was at this moment.) And he continues The Lord said who shall entice Ahab to send him into battle and die? Then there came a spirit (a demon) who stood before the Lord and said l will go and put lies into the mouths of his false prophets. So the Lord said go ahead and you will succeed. And so look all around you the Lord has put lies into the mouths of all these prophets and the LORD has declared that evil things will come on you. Zedekiah the chief false prophet came near and slapped his face and said where has the Spirit of the LORD gone from me? And Micaiah replied when this happens that l have said you will hide yourself in a little storeroom. So they king said take away Micaiah and put him in a prison on bread and water until l come back from the battle. But Micaiah said if you come back from the battle then l have not spoken the word of the Lord. And he called on all the people to witness what he had said. And so Ahab goes to the battle but he disguises himself. The Syrian king told his men to focus on the king – Ahab. When they saw the king of Judah Jehoshaphat they pressed on to kill him but he cried to the Lord and the Lord delivered him in the battle. God moved them away. In the fight there was an archer who thinking l had better do something and he drew his bow and released it seemingly at random but the arrow flew and it struck with unerring accuracy between the joints of his armour and struck Ahab. He told his charioteer to carry him away from the battle because l am wounded. The battle increased in intensity and Ahab tried to stay in his chariot until the evening and when the sun set he died.
- Why did Asa ask for help from Syria and how did it go?
- What sort of prophet was Micaiah?
- How can Micaiah be vindicated as a prophet?