Asking Someone Before Going To War

Asking Someone Before Going To War (9.11.13)

Another in the Hastening Armageddon Series

Psalm 65,7: "you calm the turmoil of the seas, the turmoil of their waves. The nations are in uproar..."

Psalm 76,10: "Human anger serves only to praise you, the survivors of your anger will huddle around you."

The Kings of Judah and Israel didn't bother with any permission from any congress to go to war.

Or from any nation's people, or the UN Security Council.

But they did have to ask someone- God- or God's prophet.

If God said "yes" they had their legal basis, and success.

If not, only trouble ensued.

Take for example King Jehoshaphat who ruled the divided Kingdom of Judah from 873-849BC.

Sometimes he asked.

Sometimes he didn't.

He didn't ask, in earnest anyway, when his father in law, King Ahab of Israel ignored the no war word of the prophet Micaiah who flatly contradicted all the King's "Yes men" who advised them to attack Syria, 1Kings22,1-38.

1Kings22,3-4: "The king in Israel said to his officers [in earshot of Jehoshaphat], 'You are aware that Ramoth in Gilead belongs to us? And yet we do nothing to wrest it away from the King of Aram [Syria]. He said to Jehoshaphat, 'Will you come with me to attack Ramoth in Gilead? Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, 'I will be as you, my men with yours, my horses with yours."

King Ahab then cooked up a plan whereby his gullible son in law would dress up as if he were the King of Israel, and thus make himself the real target, while King Ahab would go into battle disguised.

God saved the impressionable Jehoshaphat in this battle for Syria, and the too clever by half Ahab was killed by a stray arrow.

The older and wiser Jehoshaphat did ask Elisha regarding a later foray by Israel and Judah into Moab in 852BC and they got a definite green light and were successful 2Kings3,18ff.

Ditto for Jehoshaphat's defense of Judah at Tekoa beating back the invsion of the Ammonites, Moabites and the people of Mount Seir.

In this situation Jehoshaphat was all freaked out, but he did right. He ran  to the Temple and poured out all his peoples' needs, and then asked God what to do in faith:

"Our God will you not pass sentence on them, since we are helpless against this vast horde about to attack us? Because we do not know what to do, we look to you. All Judah, including their families, wives and children, were standing before Yahweh, when in the middle of the assembly, the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah .... who then cried , 'Listen, all Judah and you citizens of Jerusalem, and you, Jehoshaphat! yahweh says this to you, 'Do not be afraid, do not be daunted by this vast horde, for the war is not your affair but the God's." (2Chronicles20,12-15)

The Ammonites and Moabites and Mount Seirites ended up slaughtering each other in their fear of Judah's army and God (v. 23), leaving Judah all the rich booty to be collected in the Valley of Beracah, the valley of blessings (v.26).

But despite all the the practical wisdom he should have gained in such matters, at the end of his reign, Jehoshaphat made a navy procurement deal with his brother in law King Ahaziah of Israel.

They figured both kingdoms would get rich by building extra big and sturdy ships at Ezion-geber (2Chronicles20,35) at the top of the gulf of Aqaba (New World Dictionary-Concordance To the NAB, p. 677, World). They would sail them across the Red Sea and bring back the gold of Tarshish, the gold of Ophir, like the great King Solomon of old (1Kings9,26; 2Chronicles 8,17). 

2Chronicles20,37 gives us God's word regarding this adventuresome deal: "Eliezer son of Dodvahu of Mareshah then prophesied against Jehoshaphat as follows, 'Because you have become Ahaziah's partner, Yahweh has wrecked your efforts.' The ships were wrecked and were never fit to sail for Tarshish." 

Initial Application of Jehoshaphat's Example To Today's Situation In Syria

A nation can have moral authority for war, without having legal authority for it, let alone God's permission (1Kings 22).

Sometimes it is clearly God's will not to make any deals regarding war, even when willing allies can be found.

Not even God rights every wrong before his final judgment, but surely he can calm any uproar and protect all by his provident influence on events.



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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.