of encouragement>>unholy alliances
– Unholy Alliances
We can learn a lot from different people in the Bible. Each of
them had a unique experience with God.
Jehoshaphat means “God has judged”. Jehoshaphat became
King of Judah at age 35. He reigned for 25 years, and passed away
at age 60.
Jehosphaphat had a very good start in his reign as King. “The
Lord was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in
the ways his father David had followed.” (2 Chron. 17:3a NIV)
He was not involved in false worship, such as Baal worship, but
followed God. “His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord.”
(2 Chron. 2a NIV) He removed the high places and Asherah poles from
Judah. These were places of false worship.
All Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, and he had great wealth
Jehoshaphat also sent his officials, along with the Levites –
the Holy Priests, throughout Judah to teach from the Book of the
Law! Here, Jehoshaphat displays an interest in the spiritual condition
of the people.
Because of his love and obedience to God, the tribes around Judah
did not make war with them, but instead, his enemies brought him
gifts of wealth. Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful, and
he built up his military strength.
Jehoshaphat’s mistake came when he made an unholy alliance
with King Ahab, King of Israel, through marriage. They became family.
King Ahab had married Jezebel, a High Priestess, involved in Baal
worship. Jehoshaphat had compromised himself.
King Ahab wanted Jehoshaphat to go into battle with him against
Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat suggested that they “first seek
the counsel of the Lord”.
(2 Chron. 18:4b NIV)
So King Ahab brought in 400 prophets, and they prophesied military
victory against Ramoth Gilead.
Strangely enough, Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet
of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” (2 Chron. 18:6b
The prophet Micaiah was summoned. He had been told by the messenger
to agree with what the other prophets were prophesying. Micaiah
declared that he would only utter God’s Word. King Ahab did
not like Micaiah as he never prophesied in his favour.
Micaiah agreed with the prophesy that the other prophets gave.
King Ahab did not believe Micaiah, and demanded to hear God’s
Micaiah had a revelation of what transpired in the spiritual realm.
God, Himself, allowed a lying spirit to go on to the 400 prophets.
It was the Lord who wanted King Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth
The false prophet, Zedekiah, challenged the word Micaiah gave,
and slapped him in the face! Zedekiah really slapped God in His
Face! This was open defiance against God! And he was ultimately
judged for this. Zedekiah declared that Micaiah was lying.
This was an open confrontation between a true prophet vs. a false
prophet. Micaiah was thrown into prison until King Ahab returned
safely. Only King Ahab’s safe return would determine which
prophet was telling the Truth.
It seemed that Jehoshaphat lacked discernment, for even after hearing
the Word of the Lord, he went along into battle as an ally of King
King Ahab went into battle in disguise. I guess he thought he could
fool the enemy, and fool God.
The enemy then thought that Jehoshaphat was King Ahab, and set
out to kill him, but Jehoshaphat cried out to God, and God saved
him! God was still faithful to Jehoshaphat despite his disobedience.
However, King Ahab was hit by a “random” shot, in between
a section of his armour where he would have been vulnerable. Ahab
was fatally wounded, and died. This was God’s Judgement against
Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem safely. Another prophet, named
Jehu, confronted Jehoshaphat about his unholy alliance with King
“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?
Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is upon you. There is, however,
some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles
and have set your heart on seeking God.”
(2 Chron. 19:2b – 3 NIV)
It was only because Jehoshaphat had done good in the past, that
God was merciful to him.
In direct contrast with this battle, was another battle that Jehoshaphat
encountered. The Moabites, Ammonites and some Meunites decided to
make war against Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat heard about it.
Jehoshaphat decided to inquire of God, and proclaimed a national
fast. The people of Judah came from far and wide to be a part of
the national intercession. Jehoshaphat stood before the Temple of
the Lord, as both King and Intercessor. It was a prayer of faith
. Jehoshaphat said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes
are upon you.” (2 Chron. 20:12b NIV)
They were completely putting their trust in God. They were not
using their own strength, or working the situation out in their
minds. They had just put it before God, and waited for His Divine
This seems to be an excellent strategy to use in our own lives!
We must bring our situations, big or small, before God. We must
pray, wait, and listen for His Direction. We must trust God more
to work on our behalf.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, a Levite. The answer
to prayer came! It was a Word of Knowledge. God told them exactly
where to encounter the army the following day. He said that they
should stand firm, and take up their positions, as they would not
have to fight this battle!
Jehoshaphat responded by bowing with his face to the ground. This
was a demonstration of humility – an earthly king bowing before
the King of Kings! He acknowledged God’s Prophetic Word. All
the people fell down in worship before God as well. This was a public
demonstration of God’s Lordship in their lives. Then the Levites
(or priests) stood up, and praised God loudly!
The following day, Jehoshaphat set out as God had instructed. Jehoshaphat
encouraged the people to have faith in God, and His Prophetic Word.
And as they went out to battle, the worshippers went first. As they
praised God; God set up ambushes in the enemy camp. The enemy ended
up destroying each other.
When the men of Judah arrived at the place where God told them
to go, overlooking the desert, they only saw dead bodies. All were
killed! The “vast” army was defeated!
Praise is such a powerful weapon in the Hands of the Lord! We must
never underestimate the POWER of Praise!
It took three days for Jehoshaphat and his men to collect the plunder
and take it away!
These are the Blessings and Favour of God that we do not have to
work for! We just go out and collect them!
On the fourth day, they gathered together and praised God in corporate
worship in the valley of Beracah, which means “the valley
of praise”. Jehoshaphat and the men rejoiced that God had
given them the victory!
When they arrived in Jerusalem, they went immediately to the Temple
to worship again. And the Fear of the Lord came on the various kingdoms
surrounding Jehoshaphat, and there was peace on every side of the
Israelites. Peace is a Blessing from God.
The two battles show a very interesting contrast. In the first
battle, Jehoshaphat inquires of God, and still disobeys, which leads
to defeat! He is saved by the Mercy of God. In the second battle,
Jehoshaphat inquires of God, and follows God’s instructions
completely. He wins the battle without even fighting it, and receives
a financial blessing, and peace for all the Israelites. We no longer
have to fight our own battles anymore! We can believe God to work
them out for our best interest!
Later on, Jehoshaphat made another unholy alliance with King Ahaziah
of Israel, who was the son of King Ahab. King Ahaziah was wicked,
just like his father, King Ahab. It was a business deal. They built
a fleet of trading ships together. However, the fleet was destroyed
before they could even begin to trade. This was prophesied by Eliezer
against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance
with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.”
(2 Chron. 20:37b NIV)
Jehoshaphat sought to serve God, and he did some commendable things
in his life. However, he also made serious mistakes. He formed unholy
alliances with wicked people through marriage, and a business venture.
This serves to show us how important are the people we come into
covenant relationships with. We should choose a marriage partner
who is a Christian, and at a similar spiritual level as ourselves.
And we need to watch that we also go into business partnerships
with Christians who are sincerely following God.
When we please God, He is pleased with us, and pleased to bless
us! All our major decisions we must put before God and seek His
Counsel. Our obedience will spare us heartbreak and suffering. Living
God’s Way will bring us into God’s very best for our