Israel is still ruled by two kings in 1 Kings 20-22, but the two divisions seem to be getting along for the time being. The evil King Ahab rules the larger area of Israel, and the wiser and more faithful King Jehoshaphat rules over the tribe of Judah. The two unite to regain control of an area that belongs to Israel called Ramoth Gilead. Israel still struggles to serve the Lord, our God, and get rid of all idols, high places, and false prophets. Selfish, self-centered motives rule instead of God.
King Ahab becomes known for his evil ways. And at the same time, King Jehoshaphat is a leader of the right instead of a follower of the wrong. Jehoshaphat turns out to be a real friend to Ahab when he has his mind made up on what they should do next. In fact, Jehoshaphat gives Ahab some advice we can all take to heart for our own lives.
This is good advice I need to remember before I make up my mind about anything. Even though it is hard to hear answers that go against my biggest wishes, I have to keep my wishes in perspective. My wishes are simply my wishes, not necessarily part of God’s bigger, purposeful plan for me. Good friends won’t just tell me what I want to hear but what I need to hear.
And so, I can’t let today’s reading go by without thinking about Jesus and this Holy week before Easter. I am reminded that we all have a true friend in Jesus. He tells us,
A prayer for today-
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the LORD.”
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you…
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Thank You for the true friend I have in Jesus. Forgive me for all the ways I make up my mind without seeking Your counsel first. Help me to walk in step with Your Holy Spirit.
Open my heart to things You need me to remember and do this day.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,
Peace of Christ,