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  The Great Bible Story #69
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Jehoshaphat of Judah

Jacob Ninan
Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, was one of the good kings who came up in the southern kingdom, Judah. God was pleased with his ways and gave him great riches and honour. Jehoshaphat took great pride in the ways of God and he removed all the idols and high places from the land. He appointed men in different places to teach the people from God's book of the laws. But he made a mistake in making an alliance with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, by giving his daughter in marriage to Ahab's son. This led him into compromising situations.

One day when Jehoshaphat was visiting Ahab in Samaria, Ahab invited him to join in attacking Ramoth-Gilead. Jehoshaphat obliged him by promising him full support. Ahab gathered some prophets and asked them if he should go for this battle. They were all unanimous in promising him victory. But Jehoshaphat asked him if they could consult some genuine prophet of God. Ahab knew one, but he was afraid that this prophet Micaiah would only tell him evil things! Micaiah acted at first as if he was also saying what the prophets said, but when Ahab asked him to tell the truth he said that an evil spirit had lied to the other 'prophets' and that Ahab was going to die in the battle.

Ahab decided to disguise himself and go to battle. During the fight, some people were going to attack Jehoshaphat seeing his royal clothes, but he cried out to God and He diverted them from him. But some archer hit Ahab without knowing who he was, and by evening he bled to death. Later dogs licked up his blood from the chariot. Jehoshaphat returned safely to Jerusalem.

One day the people of Moab and Ammon came to attack Judah. Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast throughout Judah and prayed to God. He acknowledged his powerlessness against the enemy and not knowing how to deal with the situation, but he said that he was looking to God to take action. Then Jahaziel, a prophet of God, came and told him that God had heard the prayer and He would give a mighty deliverance. God wanted Judah not to fear the enemy but to watch and see what God would do for them. Jehoshaphat believed this and set up people to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.

As the people of Judah did this, the Lord fought against the enemy. First they went and killed the people of Mount Seir and then they fought among themselves. When Jehoshaphat went, he could see only corpses all around! The people also got much loot from the enemy camp.


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