(NIV1984) 1 Kings 22:49 – “At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Let my men sail with your men,’ but Jehoshaphat refused.”
So – today I’m finishing up chapter 22. We’ve seen the first destruction of Ahab – but now we wait to see the fulfillment of the rest of Elijah’s prophecy – the destruction of Ahab’s lineage (and the death of Jezebel?). We’re also waiting for Elijah to come back. He’s gone absent again with Elisha.
But in finishing off this chapter, I just want to focus on one main thing today – Jehoshaphat. He’s been a player in the last chapter and, since there’s a section of Scripture about him right after Ahab’s death, maybe it’s a sort of closure. (Also, although I’m not doing an in-depth focus on Jehoshaphat’s life (or even a Rabbit Trail, which I thought about doing (and may still do – it’s up in the air)), you should definitely go read more about him. He’s a very interesting guy. You can find a good deal of his story in 2 Chronicles 17-21:3.)
One of the last things we hear about Jehoshaphat in this section – in between the comment that his exploits were in another book and his burial – there’s a little paragraph about his ships that were wrecked. What I want to bring to light is that Jehoshaphat tells Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, no. Although he was willing to risk his life to fight with Ahab, he does not make that risk with Ahaziah. Why?
(NIV1984) 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 – “When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the 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.'”
Jehoshaphat was basically chided by God for his alliance with Ahab – and he learned from that. He didn’t continue to help Ahaziah as he did Ahab. He sought God and left them behind.
(Actually – I shall expand on this a little bit in a way that I didn’t in my own devotional when I came across this the first time.
We get two accounts of this ship occurrence in Scripture: 1 Kings 22:48-49 and 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, which read thusly:
(NIV1984) 1 Kings 22:48-49 – “Now Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail—they were wrecked at Ezion Geber. At that time Ahaziah son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Let my men sail with your men,’ but Jehoshaphat refused.”
(NIV1984) 2 Chronicles 20:35-37 – “Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who was guilty of wickedness. He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber, Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.’ The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.”
Now, this looks like a contradiction, but it’s not. It just seems like the Chronicles account elaborates on what happened in the Kings – but the Kings account still has Jehoshaphat finally refusing Ahaziah. Even though there was that initial alliance, after the wrecking of the ships, that, too, was ended. Jehoshaphat was chided and disciplined enough that he didn’t ally with Ahaziah again. He stopped the alliance.)
Now – we will be seeing Jehoshaphat later on in 2 Kings, and Elijah will come back in the next chapter! I am so excited to get back into this with y’all!
May God bless you and keep you safe!