TEXT: 1 Kings 22:13-18
During the Old Testament era in which God allowed judges and kings to rule His people, Israel, it was traditional for the king or military leader to enquire of the Lord before going to war. In response to such prayers, God would send one of His prophets to the kings and tell him yay or nay. Sometimes, the prophet would say something similar to, 'Yes, you can go to war because the Lord is with you and you will be victorious.' However, at other times, the prophet would say, 'No, do not go to war because the Lord is not with you, and you will not be victorious.' We see these types of scenarios in the lives of Moses, Joshua, David, Saul, Hezekiah, and the kings mentioned in the passage which we just read -- Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and Ahab, the king of Israel.
Now, at the beginning of 1 Kings 22, we are informed that there were three years of peace between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and Syria. However, in a previous war, the Syrians had seized the Israeli city called Ramoth-gilead. Israel had never retaken the city, and so Ahab, the king of Israel, goes to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and proposes that they go to war together in order to take the city back from the Syrians. Jehoshaphat wisely suggests that they go to God before going to war. He tells Ahab, "Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord today." So, King Ahab gathers 400 prophets and says, "Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king."
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