Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

2 Chronicles 18; 2 Chronicles 19; 2 Chronicles 20

1 Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor. He joined forces with Ahab by getting married to Ahab's daughter. 2 Some years later he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab killed a lot of sheep and cattle for him and the people who were with him. Ahab tried to get Jehoshaphat to attack Ramoth Gilead. 3 Ahab was the king of Israel. He spoke to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah. He asked, "Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied, "Yes. I'll go with you. My men will also go with you. We'll join you in the war." 4 He continued, "First ask the LORD for advice." 5 So the king of Israel brought 400 prophets together. He asked them, "Should we go to war against Ramoth Gilead? Or should I stay here?" "Go," they answered. "God will hand it over to you." 6 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the LORD here? If there is, ask him what we should do." 7 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat. He said, "There is still one other man we can go to. We can ask the LORD for advice through him. But I hate him. He never prophesies anything good about me. He only prophesies bad things. His name is Micaiah. He's the son of Imlah." "You shouldn't say bad things about him," Jehoshaphat replied. 8 So the king of Israel called for one of his officials. He told him, "Bring Micaiah, the son of Imlah, at once." 9 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, were wearing their royal robes. They were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor. It was near the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All of the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 10 Zedekiah was the son of Kenaanah. Zedekiah had made horns out of iron. They looked like animal horns. He announced, "The LORD says, 'With these horns you will drive back the men of Aram until they are destroyed.' " 11 All of the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead," they said. "Win the battle over it. The LORD will hand it over to you." 12 A messenger went to get Micaiah. He said to him, "Look. The other prophets agree. All of them are saying the king will have success. So agree with them. Say the same thing they do." 13 But Micaiah said, "You can be sure that the LORD lives. And you can be just as sure that I can only tell the king what my God says." 14 When Micaiah arrived, the king spoke to him. He asked, "Should we go to war against Ramoth Gilead? Or should I stay here?" "Attack," he answered. "You will win. The people of Ramoth Gilead will be handed over to you." 15 The king said to him, "I've made you promise to tell the truth many times before. So don't tell me anything but the truth in the name of the Lord." 16 Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all of the people of Israel scattered on the hills. They were like sheep that didn't have a shepherd. The LORD said, 'These people do not have a master. Let each of them go home in peace.' " 17 The king of Israel spoke to Jehoshaphat. He said, "Didn't I tell you he never prophesies anything good about me? He only prophesies bad things." 18 Micaiah continued, "Listen to the LORD's message. I saw the LORD sitting on his throne. Some of the angels of heaven were standing at his right side. The others were standing at his left side. 19 The LORD said, 'Who will try to get Ahab, the king of Israel, to attack Ramoth Gilead? I want him to die there.' "One angel suggested one thing. Another suggested something else. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward and stood in front of the Lord. The spirit said, 'I'll try to get Ahab to do it.' " 'How?' the LORD asked. 21 "The spirit said, 'I'll go and put lies in the mouths of all of his prophets.' " 'You will have success in getting Ahab to attack Ramoth Gilead,' said the Lord. 'Go and do it.' 22 "So the LORD has put lies in the mouths of your prophets. He has said that great harm will come to you." 23 Then Zedekiah, the son of Kenaanah, went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "So you think the spirit that was sent by the LORD went away from me to speak to you, do you?" he asked. "Which way did he go?" 24 Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inside room to save your life." 25 Then the king of Israel gave an order. He said, "Take Micaiah away. Send him back to Amon. Amon is the ruler of the city of Samaria. And send him back to Joash. Joash is a member of the royal court. 26 Tell them, 'The king says, "Put this fellow in prison. Don't give him anything but bread and water until I return safely." ' " 27 Micaiah announced, "Do you really think you will return safely? If you do, the LORD hasn't spoken through me." He continued, "All of you people, remember what I've said!" 28 So the king of Israel went up to Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went there too. 29 The king of Israel spoke to Jehoshaphat. He said, "I'll go into battle wearing different clothes. Then people won't recognize me. But you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel put on different clothes. Then he went into battle. 30 The king of Aram had given an order to his chariot commanders. He had said, "Fight only against the king of Israel. Don't fight against anyone else." 31 The chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat. They thought, "That's the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat cried out. And the LORD helped him. God drew the commanders away from him. 32 They saw he wasn't the king of Israel after all. So they stopped chasing him. 33 But someone shot an arrow without taking aim. The arrow hit the king of Israel between the parts of his armor. The king told the chariot driver, "Turn the chariot around. Get me out of this battle. I've been wounded." 34 All day long the battle continued. The king of Israel kept himself standing up by leaning against the inside of his chariot. He kept his face toward the men of Aram until evening. At sunset he died.
1 Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. 2 The prophet Jehu went out to meet him. He was the son of Hanani. Jehu said to the king, "You shouldn't help evil people. You shouldn't love those who hate the Lord. The LORD is angry with you. 3 But there's some good in you. You have gotten rid of all of the poles in the land that are used to worship the goddess Asherah. And you have worshiped God with all your heart." 4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out again among the people. He went from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim. He turned the people back to the Lord, the God of Israel. 5 Jehoshaphat appointed judges in the land. He put them in all of the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. 6 He told the judges, "Think carefully about what you do. After all, you aren't judging for mere men. You are judging for the Lord. He's with you every time you make a decision. 7 Have respect for the Lord. Judge carefully. He is always right. He treats everyone the same. He doesn't want his judges to take money from people who want special favors." 8 In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat chose some Levites and priests. He also chose some leaders of Israelite families. He appointed all of them to apply the law of the LORD fairly. He wanted them to decide cases. He wanted them to settle matters between people. All of those judges lived in Jerusalem. 9 Here are the orders Jehoshaphat gave them. He said, "Have respect for the Lord. Serve him faithfully. Do it with all your heart. 10 Cases will come to you from your fellow judges who live in the other cities. The cases might be about murder or other matters that the law, commands, directions and rules deal with. Warn the judges not to sin against the Lord. If you don't warn them, he will be angry with you and your fellow judges. Do what I say. Then you won't sin. 11 "The chief priest Amariah will be over you in any matter that concerns the Lord. Zebadiah is the leader of the tribe of Judah. He is the son of Ishmael. Zebadiah will be over you in any matter that concerns the king. The Levites will serve as your officials. Be brave. And may the LORD be with those of you who do well."
1 After that, the Moabites, Ammonites and some Meunites went to war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Some people came and told him, "A huge army is coming from Edom to fight against you. They have come across the Dead Sea. They are already in Hazazon Tamar." Hazazon Tamar is also called En Gedi. 3 Jehoshaphat was alarmed. So he decided to ask the LORD for advice. He told all of the people of Judah to go without eating. 4 The people came together to ask the LORD for help. In fact, they came from every town in Judah to pray to him. 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up among the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He was in front of the new courtyard at the LORD's temple. 6 He said, "Lord, you are the God of our people. You are the God who is in heaven. You rule over all of the kingdoms of the nations. Your hands are strong and powerful. No one can fight against you and win. 7 "Our God, you drove out the people who lived in this land. You drove them out to make room for your people Israel. You gave this land forever to those who belong to the family line of your friend Abraham. 8 "They have lived in this land. They've built a temple here for your Name. They have said, 9 'Suppose trouble comes on us. It doesn't matter whether it's a punishing sword, plague or hunger. We'll serve you. We'll stand in front of this temple where your Name is. We'll cry out to you when we're in trouble. Then you will hear us. You will save us.' 10 "But here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. You wouldn't allow Israel to march in and attack their territory when the Israelites came from Egypt. So Israel turned away from them. They didn't destroy them. 11 See how they are paying us back. They are coming to drive us out. They want to take over the land you gave us as our share. 12 "Our God, won't you please judge them? We don't have the power to face this huge army that's attacking us. We don't know what to do. But we're looking to you to help us." 13 All of the men of Judah stood there in front of the Lord. Their wives, children and little ones were with them. 14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel. He was standing among the people of Israel. He was the son of Zechariah. Zechariah was the son of Benaiah. Benaiah was the son of Jeiel. Jeiel was the son of Mattaniah. Jahaziel was a Levite. He was from the family line of Asaph. 15 Jahaziel said, "King Jehoshaphat, listen! All you who live in Judah and Jerusalem, listen! The LORD says to you, 'Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope because of this huge army. The battle is not yours. It is mine. 16 " 'Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take your positions. Stand firm. You will see how I will save you. Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. Go out and face them tomorrow. I will be with you.' " 18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face toward the ground. All of the people of Judah and Jerusalem also bowed down. They worshiped the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the families of Kohath and Korah stood up. They praised the Lord, the God of Israel. They praised him with very loud voices. 20 Early in the morning all of the people left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they started out, Jehoshaphat stood up. He said, "Judah, listen to me! People of Jerusalem, listen to me! Have faith in the LORD your God. He'll take good care of you. Have faith in his prophets. Then you will have success." 21 Jehoshaphat asked the people for advice. Then he appointed men to sing to the Lord. He wanted them to praise him because of his glory and holiness. They marched out in front of the army. They said, "Give thanks to the Lord. His faithful love continues forever." 22 They began to sing and praise him. Then the LORD hid some men and told them to wait. He wanted them to attack the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. They had gone into Judah and attacked it. But they lost the battle. 23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir. They destroyed them. They put an end to them. When they finished killing the men from Seir, they destroyed each other. 24 The men of Judah came to the place that looks out over the desert. They turned to look down at the huge army. But all they saw was dead bodies lying there on the ground. No one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went down there to carry off anything of value. Among the dead bodies they found a lot of supplies, clothes and articles of value. There was more than they could take away. There was so much it took three days to collect all of it. 26 On the fourth day they gathered together in the Valley of Beracah. There they praised the Lord. That's why it's called the Valley of Beracah to this very day. 27 Then all of the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. They were filled with joy. Jehoshaphat led them. The LORD had made them happy because all of their enemies were dead. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the LORD's temple. They were playing harps, lutes and trumpets. 29 All of the kingdoms of the surrounding countries began to have respect for God. They had heard how the LORD had fought against Israel's enemies. 30 The kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace. His God had given him peace and rest on every side. 31 So Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah. He was 35 years old when he became Judah's king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother's name was Azubah. She was the daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat followed the ways of his father Asa. He didn't wander away from them. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 33 But the high places weren't removed. The people still hadn't worshiped the God of Israel with all their hearts. 34 The other events of Jehoshaphat's rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the official records of Jehu, the son of Hanani. They are written in the records of the kings of Israel. 35 Jehoshaphat king of Judah and Ahaziah king of Israel agreed to be friends. Ahaziah was guilty of doing what was evil. 36 Jehoshaphat agreed with him to build a lot of ships. They were built at Ezion Geber. They carried goods that were traded for other goods. 37 Eliezer was the son of Dodavahu from Mareshah. Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, "You have joined forces with Ahaziah. So the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked. They were never able to sail or trade goods.
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