Day One Hundred Fifty-Seven, I Kings 22, II Chron. 19-20, II Kings 1,3
In today’s reading, we have yet another contrast between the goings-on in Israel and those in Judah.
In Israel, after Ahab dies, his son Ahaziah assumes the throne. He, like his father, “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” The Moabites, who had previously been supplying Israel with sheep, decided to revolt against Israel. Later, Ahaziah becomes ill, and he sends messenger to inquire of the prophets of Baal-Zebub, to see if he would recover.
But Elijah meets those messengers half-way with a message of his own for King Ahaziah, from the Lord. He says, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub…You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”
This was interesting to me because God pro-actively involved Himself in the affairs of Ahaziah, seeming to imply that if Ahaziah had bothered to seek Him, He would have answered. It makes me ask some of the same questions that I asked when I read about King Asa…would God have helped Ahaziah if Ahaziah had asked Him to?
On the other hand, in Judah, Jehoshaphat is still king. The Moabites, along with the Ammonites and Meunites come to make war against Judah, and Jehoshaphat inquires of the Lord. He declares a fast, and all the people of Judah come to seek help from the Lord.
Jehoshaphat’s prayer is recorded for us, and I love it, perhaps because I identify with part of it. He starts out acknowledging God for the awesome God that He is. He recalls the Lord’s previous help to the people of Israel in the past. Then he talks to God about the current situation. He requests the Lord’s justice for the people that are coming up against them. Then he humbly admits, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
God, so often, I do not know what to do…but my eyes are upon You.