“And he said, Hear therefore the word of Yehovah: I saw Yehovah sitting on His throne and all the hosts of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left hand.”
The time had come to pass that the evil which King Ahab had done was to come to an end as the time of his habitation was now concluded. He had manifested all the wickedness that was in him through the many vile and odious deeds which marked his life and administration and though God had shown him His great power, confirming that He alone is God, yet Ahab did not repent; “and there was none like unto Ahab which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of Yehovah, whom his wife, Jezebel, stirred up” (I Kings 21:25).
A war raged between Israel and Syria which, as wars do, ravaged the country-side and cost many lives and much sorrow, but for three years there was peace. Three years was just enough time for the horrors of war to be faded from the memories of the ruling pundits and so the passion and lust for war was again kindled in the heart of Ahab. This impending war, to reclaim Ramoth-Gilead, was the means and method, which Yehovah God had decreed should come to pass, whereby Ahab, should complete his assigned labours, finish the path he was given to walk and depart the habitations of this earthly existence. Herein He caused the heart of the king of Judah to be consumed in the matters of this war to the extent that he left Jerusalem and came to Samaria to meet with his inveterate foe, Ahab, to join forces against the Syrians.
Ahab had done great evil in the nation of Israel both in the worship of Baal and the abandonment of the Law of God yet God gave him a long twenty year reign, as king, during which He raised up His prophets to warn him and the people of the impending judgment which God had ordained. The king of Judah, however, did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, for, being a child of grace. Yehovah had blessed him with peace in the land and an abundance of wealth and fame (II Chr. 17:5). He had no right to become involved in the affairs of a foreign land, as forbidden by the Law, and the prophet rebuked him for his actions (II Chr. 19:2). Yet he could not resist the movement which the Spirit put within his heart to assist his brethren in their battle against a very common enemy.
The southern tribes attempted to restrain the northern tribes from their illegal secession from the union in the days of Rehoboam but God prevented them; thus the nation was split between the land of Judah and the nation of Israel. These two fought against each other on many occasions but neither could overtake the other and restore the union of the nation because God had separated them. Israel was the larger of the two and her army as well as her commerce and trade overshadowed her smaller and weaker sister, Judah. Yet over the years, as the will of God placed king after king upon the thrones of the respective countries, some who did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord and others who continued in the sin of their fathers, there was no reunification of the countries. Israel continued in her abominations unto her destruction and her sister Judah did more treacherous than Israel (Jer. 3:7ff).
Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah. He was the keeper of the covenant and the Law in all the types and foreshadows as given to Moses in the mount. According to the Law of Moses, he should have nothing to do meddling in the affairs of a foreign country, and indeed since the northern ten tribes departed from Judah they were now a foreign nation. He should have made no confederacies with them nor entered into the affairs of state with them at all for they had rebelled against Yehovah God and forsaken His ways. The Law was intended for the children of Israel as a people whom God had isolated from all other nations to give His word unto but anyone of the house of Jacob who did not abide by the statutes and precepts of the Law was not to be considered a child of the covenant. It was clear that anyone who violated the precepts must be punished to the full extent of the Law and anyone who forsook the Law of God and went off after the gods of this world was to be stoned that he die (Deut. 13:10).
Every son of natural Israel heard the words and committed unto the Law which Moses spoke. The feast days were kept as the daily sacrifices for sin, peace, thanksgiving were slaughtered at the door of the Tabernacle and the blood poured out upon the ground. Later when the Temple was completed in all its glory, the blood was channeled down away from the door of the Temple (contrary to the type given in the wilderness) but the Law was paramount to the people. Thus when the ten northern tribes followed after the contention of the people (Jeroboam), discarding the principles and statutes of the Law, they became a foreign country which Judah should disregard; and so this man Jehoshaphat should have never come down from Jerusalem to assist in this warfare nor give any aid or comfort to his enemy.
As the Spirit of God moves a man to do that which He has ordained should come to pass the creature is incapable of resisting His power. There is no power or standard that would prohibit the one whom God has appointed labours to do His work from performing that which is needful and good in the unfolding of God’s wondrous creation. There is no praise to be given to the tools in the Master’s hands as He causes all things to come to pass for His glory and honour yet the Law stands true and the testimony sure without exception. God had ordained Jehoshaphat to come ignore the commandments and to become entangled with this wicked and heartless king, sitting as equals, in attempt to correct the war of three years which God had sent against the nation of Israel.
Yehovah had blessed Solomon with great abundance and wisdom above any man. He put it in his heart to seek out everything which made a man happy and in doing so Solomon’s heart was drawn away after many women. But lest anyone think that God reacted to the actions of this man, consider the promises given unto David. First God said that David shall never want for a man to sit upon the throne in Israel. Is there a man sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem today? He also promised that if the children of Israel would keep the commandments and walk in His ways, the nation should never fail. The people of Israel were a stiff-necked and rebellious people from the beginning and called a transgressor from the womb (Is. 48:8). Israel was decimated, dispersed and scattered into the earth while the buildings were destroyed and burnt with fire but more so Jesus said that the house of Israel was left uninhabited. God also promised David that if Solomon, the King, was to remain in the fulfillment of the covenant, his kingdom should have no end. This never came to pass even though many look for this in a future fulfillment.
Yehovah God spoke not of the fulfillment of the temporal types but of the fulfillment of reality, in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. The Beloved is not the man who lived and died many centuries ago; it is the Beloved of Yehovah in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The King of Peace of His people was not a son of Adam but The son of God who by His faithfulness has perpetuated peace with God through His shed blood. He fulfilled all the Law in righteousness, His name being Faithful and Truth and He presented Himself and the Beloved before the Father in testimony of the finished work, saying, “Behold I and the children whom Yehovah have given Me for signs and wonders in the Israel” (Is. 8:18).
David made preparations to build an earthly Temple which has been destroyed many times but the Temple of the Lord, whose glory cannot be approached by any work of this creation, stands eternal and the gates of hell cannot prevail against her. Her walls are the salvation of His people, which are always before Him, and the gates are praise unto our God. Solomon’s kingdom was of this world and men came to see its glory and to hear His wisdom. The Kingdom of Yehovah is not of this world, the citizens are not of the dust of the earth and the eyes of man cannot see it, though they endeavour to find it by observation. Though man has attempted to resurrect the nation of Israel because of fear, superstition or the nationalistic pride, which pride was a manifestation or the corrupt nature of Jehoshaphat, that which is temporal has faded away and “of the increase of His government and peace no end. Upon the throne of David and upon the kingdom to order and to establish it with judgement and with justice from hence-forth and forever; the zeal of Yehovah of hosts will perform this” (Is. 9:7).
Solomon was the splendid type of the corruption of man being drawn away after the desires of the flesh and “forasmuch as this is done of you and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I commanded you, I will surely rend the kingdom from you and I will give it to your servant” (I Kings 11:11); and thus in the latter days of his life there were many who rebelled from under his rule. The borders were attacked and many children of Israel were captured as the territory diminished for Yehovah God had lifted up adversaries against Solomon. When Solomon died and his son attempted to rule the kingdom, it was the hand of God in all matters that caused Jeroboam to rise up and be the delight of the people. He set up two golden calves for the people to worship, ordained common men, not of the house of Levi, as priests and established new feast days and this was the sin whereby he caused all Israel to sin; Jehoshaphat should not have every accepted the invitation to meet with Ahab nor given him audience.
The proposition of Ahab to Jehoshaphat was simple with national pride and Zionistic arrogance at stake. Ramoth in Gilead was the inheritance of the children of Gad to the east of the Jordan River which had fallen into the hands of Syria. Ahab wanted this land back and thus he was given to design the battle plan for the capture of the land and the deliverance of the people; for this he needed the help of Jehoshaphat. The king of Judah was not only made willing to hear this proposal but to commit the nation of Judah as the brothers of Israel, with no regard to their wickedness or the demands of the Law, saying, “I as you, my people as your people, my horses as your horse” (22:4). He compromised the truth for the benefit of the flesh.
This is the compromise of the doctrine of Adam which denounces the truth, calling it a lie, and thrives on the comradery of the dust rather than the simplicity of truth This has been from the beginning in Adam and shall continue till the mortal tabernacle is laid aside. When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of captivity were building the Temple they came and presented themselves as being of like precious faith; “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you and we do sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esar-haddon, King of Assur, which brought us hither” (Ezra 4:2). These were told by Nehemiah that they did not worship the same God, being Yehovah of Hosts, and that they had neither portion, nor right nor memorial in the coming forth of Peace, Jerusalem (Neh. 2:19). Yet it was given to Jehoshaphat to hearken unto the voice of his father Adam’s brother (Ahab) and to come down from Jerusalem and sit together as one with one who hated the truth and was hated of the Lord.
“And the King of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes in the threshing place, in the entrance of the gate of Samaria and all the prophets prophesied before them” (22:10).
A grand display of national pride and solidarity was to be presented here as two men sat as equals before all the false prophets of the land hoping to hear a word from Yehovah God in answer to their inquiry. One by one the prophets gave a magnificent display of falsehood and deception as they predicted a mighty victory over the Syrians but neither Ahab nor Jehoshaphat was convinced. Ahab’s heart was filled with fear and doubt for though he knew it not, his time was rapidly approaching. Jehoshaphat was given of the Spirit within to seek the Word of Yehovah in the matter and amazingly, one of the seven thousand whom the Lord had reserved unto Himself, who had not kissed the lips nor bowed the knee unto the other master, was in the right place at the right time.
‘He who is like God’ (Micaiah) was prepped and ready to join with the others in their predictions. Yet when the Word of God came forth, first in a sarcastic jest against Ahab and then to speak the truth, it is interesting that Ahab dismissed this first salvo. It was, after all, identical to the word which all of his prophets had said; “and he answered and said, Go and prosper for Yehovah shall deliver into the hand of the King” (22:15). It would be reasonable to expect Ahab to stand rejoicing that all was in agreement but he knew that this was not the truth for when he heard the truth he lashed out in a fit of rage against the lowly servant of God.
Micaiah continued and said, “I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills as sheep that have no shepherd and Yehovah said, These have no master, let them return every man to his house in peace” (17). He spoke this truth not for Ahab for Ahab’s heart was as hard as the adamant stone; he spoke for the child of grace, Jehoshaphat, when he saw Yehovah sitting upon His throne as the sovereign over all of His creation, who did not need a man to convince Ahab to dash off into this fool-hearted endeavour, for He was to send a lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets of Ahab. This lying spirit would not only persuade Ahab to continue but he would also prosper in the accomplishment of the purpose of God; the death of Ahab.
It was because of the judgement of Yehovah that the Word of the Lord was called for to pronounce His judgment against the wickedness of man and the vision He gave this one who is like God the revelation of the power, authority and sovereignty of God over all things and because it was the truth, Ahab was furious. Yet all things came to pass as the Word had said and Ahab died in the battle.
“And Elisha said, Yehovah of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward you nor see you” (II Kings 3:14).
For a second time Jehoshaphat came down from Jerusalem to make an alliance with the king of Israel. This son of Ahab wrought evil in the sight of Yehovah but not quite as bad as his father and mother, yet he did not depart from the sin of Jeroboam, wherein all Israel stood guilty before the Lord.
This time, the Lord had put it into the heart of the King of Moab to cease paying his tribute and to rebel from under the tyranny of Jehoram. He also put it in the heart of the son of Ahab to be offended that he was no longer receiving one hundred thousand sheep and rams with wool, so he sought out the assistance of the king of Edom. Then he called for his neighbours from the south to come and assist in the recovery of this precious commodity and again, Jehoshaphat was given to say, “I will go up; I with you, my people as your people my horses as your horses” (3:7).
The natural man did not learn anything from the first time when he was beguiled to wear his kingly attire and march into battle while Ahab dressed in common garb hoping to have Jehoshaphat killed while he escaped. This canard could not fool or out-maneuver the will of God for it was His purpose that Ahab die in the manner and at the time that he did. But Jehoshaphat, the man, was not given to recall these things as once again, in defiance of the precepts of the Law, he came to Jehoram.
This time, three kings sought to force the matter upon the King of Moab and recover the tribute but God had intended again to shew forth His ever present judgement against the ungodliness of man. He assembled these armies because ‘Yehovah is exalted’ (Jehoram) as He empowered the arm of Adam (Edom) to destroy those who are ‘of the father’ (Moab) and again He did it because ‘Yehovah has judged’ (Jehoshaphat).
The judgement of God is not made in time and space for He neither reacts to the actions of the creatures nor is a respecter of persons. He loves the children of promise with an eternal love for they are in Him. His desire is upon His Beloved and He created all things for His good pleasure. He brings forth the events of creation in their appointed time for good to them that love Him, to the called, according to His purpose and He causes all things to come to pass by the good pleasure of His will.
Adam is an intricate part of God’s creation for he was created in God’s image. He has his seed in him and in the beginning the bride was preserved in him; but Adam is of the dust, temporal and corrupt. He cannot receive the things of the Spirit for he is not properly equipped to know them. He has not the mind of God nor can he perceive the ways which God conducts the revelation of those things which were finished before the foundation of the world. Yet he is essential to the work which God has done and though Esau, who is Edom, is not aware of those things which Yehovah God is doing by the polluted hands of the flesh, yet the wrath of man shall praise Him and the remainder of wrath He shall restrain (Ps. 76:10). Though the eternal hatred of Yehovah God is upon Esau, yet he is necessary in the purpose of God, as the servant of the Beloved and as the vessels outfitted for destruction for “since God, willing to shew wrath and to make His power known, endures with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; that He might make know the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom He has called not only of the Jews but also of the Gentiles?” (Rms. 9:22).
Thus because ‘Yehovah has judged’ (Jehoshaphat) the God of my salvation (Elisha) gives attention to the wickedness of man as He brings forth judgement against all those who are ‘of the father’ (Moab) Adam. God empowered the arm of the flesh to be lifted up (Assyrian) putting the staff of His anger in his hand and giving his the staff of His indignation as a testimony to His people that he is God and there is none other (Is. 10:5). Were it not for that God has judged all things, declaring that which is evil as His servant and leading the wicked one about with hooks in his jaw, the events of time and creation would have no purpose and the children of the Kingdom of Light would have no hope of deliverance.
It was a light thing for Yehovah God to deliver the king of Moab into the hands of these armies for He had so afore ordained. He provided the water that was needed to sustain the armies and their cattle, He led them by the way they should go and He gave the Moabites the vision of blood which struck fear in their hearts. Yehovah God gave a mighty victory that day and in the end, the king of Moab slaughtered his own son, offering him as a burnt offering upon the wall. All of this, even the minutest detail, was ordained, actuated and concluded by the hand of the Lord God Omnipotent who lives and reigns forever. Let the nations rage for they are but the servants of God and of His people.
It does not matter who sits in what place of authority or what potentate ascends to power for the kingdoms of this world are commanded and controlled by the Sovereign of the Universe. These all stand as a testimony to the warfare that the children of grace endure with the natural man whose delight is after the things of this world. The desires of the flesh draw the natural man after the needs of this earthen vessel demonstrating the inability of the Adam to command or control anything. The children of grace, being made subject to this vanity by reason of hope in the life to come, are grieved because the natural man appears so very strong and formidable in his struggles and so very out of control. When the children would do good, they find evil is present because the vessel is ‘of the father’. When they purpose to refrain from the sin that is in their members they find they cannot cease for what they hate, that they do. But through all this, though the natural man does not learn the truth, the children of grace grow in the grace and knowledge of His will. They have the testimony of the sovereignty of God over all things and, delighting in the Law of God after the inner man, they know that they have been, are being and in the appointed time my God shall deliver me from the body of this death.
Yehovah God created evil and as with everything else in His creation, it is subservient to His will and subject to His purpose. No man controls evil or the wickedness that follows but they are part and partial to the perfect decrees of Almighty God who declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times that are not yet done saying, “My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure” (Is. 46:10). The natural mind rejects such sovereignty and the doctrine of Adam cries ‘unjust’ but the children of Light find great comfort in the peace that is beyond all carnal understanding for they have been taught of the Spirit that God has “brought My righteousness near, it does not hesitate and I have given Zion My salvation for Israel My glory”
Without the sovereignty of God over all evil there could be no assurance of faith but the testimony in the revelation of Jesus Christ is that;
“True and righteous are His judgements for He has judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication and has avenged the blood of His servants upon her head” (Rev. 19:2);
This is Jehoshaphat.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 16, 2018