Sunday, October 30, 2016

2 Chronicles 18

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 18. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • King Jehoshaphat (who we met in the previous chapter) was committed to God, but at the beginning of this chapter we see him make a major misstep. He makes an alliance with Ahab, who was an evil king, and has his son marry Ahab's daughter. In the coming chapters we will see Jehoshaphat and his nation suffer major consequences for these actions.
  • Back then when evil kings didn't like the messages they received from God's prophets they would hire their own prophets who would only tell them what they want to hear. That's what Ahab does in verses 5. Jehoshaphat calls him out on it, and gets a true prophet, in verses 6-27.
  • Jehoshaphat brings in a prophet but then ignores what God says through him, by choosing to go into the war (verse 28).
  • Micaiah tells the truth in representing God, and gets arrested as a result. Obeying God doesn't always get immediate reward, but God does promise to honor us for honoring Him (see 1 Samuel 2:30).
  • Ahab, because he listened to the lying prophets instead of God, is killed in the battle God told him not to go into (verses 33-34).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • While we should be friends with everyone, the Bible is very clear that we should only make "alliances" or "yoked relationships" (a formal relationship, like a marriage or a business partnership) with people who share our faith (see, for instance, 2 Corinthians 6:14). Getting into that kind of relationship with someone who doesn't share our faith is a recipe for disaster. We don't agree on the fundamental things, so making decisions and moving forward is wrought with problems. Too often, compromise will be required, and it may be that what we compromise on is something we should not be compromising on.
  • We all like to hear what we want to hear (false prophets are always attractive), but what we need to hear is truth. The Bible says that God's truth is what sets us free (see John 8:32).
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you careful about who you get into permanent, bonded kind of relationships with? Do you understand why God doesn't want you to get into those kinds of partnerships with people with whom you don't have the most important things in common? If you're a parent, are you crystal clear with your kids that they should only date and marry those who truly share their faith in Jesus?
  • When you have a decision to make, whose advise do you seek? Is the advice from people who you know will tell you what you want to hear, or from people who love God more than they love you and who know His Word and will tell you His truth? If you don't have people like that in your life, where could you get them?