“Besides” … by the Real Travis Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 18 – 20 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 16 – 18Psalms 101 – 105Proverbs 21)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15

Read the “0521 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Keep Your Eyes on the Lord.”

“Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand. But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?” (2 Chronicles 18:5-6)

A couple of weeks ago I preached the longest message I have ever preached. The portion of scripture was 2 Chronicles 20, and now I am writing a devotion on chapters 18, 19, and 20. I’m going to just touch on chapter 18:

Here in 2 Chronicles 18, we have Jehoshaphat making an alliance with Ahab, which is kind of odd, and really a whole separate devotion in, and of itself. Ahab was wicked, and Jehoshaphat was good. I believe Jehoshaphat allied with Ahab to try to bring him back to the Lord. Verse 3 states: “And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.” Jehoshaphat said he would go, but he said first we need to see what God has to say about it. Ahab agreed. Jehoshaphat asked 400 prophets and they all said, “go, God is with you.” You would think that would of been enough for Jehoshaphat. If four hundred prophets said God is going to give you victory, you would think that would be the “green light” that Jehoshaphat needed. My response, if I was Jehoshaphat, would have been, “great – let’s win this battle in the name of the Lord!” Jehoshaphat had a different response here in 2 Chronicles 18:6: “But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?” The key word that stuck out to me was “besides.” Jehoshaphat had 400 hundred people in agreement of what God wanted. Most of the people who are reading this are Baptists, and we know it’s hard to get 4 preachers to agree on what God wants let alone 400. Here Jehoshaphat wasn’t concerned about what the people may have agreed upon. He ultimately wanted what God wanted.

Then another prophet, named Micaiah, comes in. In verse 16 Micaiah says: “…I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.” The thought would be this: The conclusion of 400 out of 401 prophets wasn’t enough. The agreement of 99.7% of the prophets saying God would bless wasn’t enough. What is “enough” for you to claim that it is of the Lord?

I love counsel. Proverbs 11:14 says this: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” I’m for Counsel. When I make big decisions in my life there are people I go to for counsel; Pastor Erickson being one of them. I heed their counsel, but that is not the say all to where I formulate my answer. Proverbs 25:2 says: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” We need to search out each matter. You may have gotten counsel, but have you prayed? You may have prayed, but have you fasted? You may have fasted, but have you searched the Scriptures?

When Jacob stole the blessing from Essau, Jacob made Isaac think he was Esau in every area except one; Jacob’s voice didn’t match Esau’s. Genesis 27:22 states, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Issac still blessed Jacob. If Issac would have questioned Jacob’s voice, he may have realized it wasn’t Esau. What decision are you making that checks all the boxes? Is there something “besides” that God may want us to search out? Let’s make sure we look into the “besides. Our spiritual life may depend on it. 

 

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark.
Travis is an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Caldwell, NJ.

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