Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war. But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.” (2 Chron. 18:3b, 4)
Through marriage, king Jehoshaphat had become Ahab’s ally (v. 1). On one of his visits to Ahab, he receives a splendid welcome and is encouraged to join in the fight against Ramoth Gilead (v. 3a). But first Jehoshaphat must seek the Lord’s counsel, so he entreats Ahab to do so (v. 4).
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.” (v. 4)
Jehoshaphat did well in seeking the will of God, but we can notice that before he did that (sought the will of God), he had indirectly accepted to join king Ahab in the war against Ramoth Gilead:
Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war. (v. 3b).
So, when Micaiah prophesied against Ahab (vv. 16, 18), it didn't put Jehoshaphat off; he still went against God's instruction.
That is exactly how we act. Often, before we go up to God for answers, we have already taken the decision, so when God’s answer contradicts ours, it doesn’t make sense to us.
Julie Ackerman Link observes: "It is difficult to make good decisions if our allegiance is to someone who does not know and love God." That was what happened to Jehoshaphat. He pledged his allegiance to Ahab, and it nearly cost him his life (vv. 31, 32).
When we rely on worldly principles, we open doors for destruction but when our decisions rest upon the word of God, we are able to stand. It is always the right thing to do in seeking the counsel of the Lord in all our decisions and actions.
God’s counsel drives us towards and helps us achieve the best for our lives. By inviting God to be part of our decision-making process and following His counsel, we avoid a lot of pitfalls and dangerous situations.
Let God's word be "a lamp to [your] feet and a light for [your] path." (Ps. 119:105, my emphasis)
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