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This chapter informs us of the treaty Jehoshaphat made with Ahab, to go against Ramoth-gilead to battle; and the consequence of the war. Ahab is slain. Jehoshaphat is spared.
2 Chronicles 18:1
We have the relation of this connection between Jehoshaphat and Ahab, together with what follows, in the battle of Ramoth-gilead, in the 1 Kings 22:0 so that I refer the reader thither for what is remarked upon it. In addition I would just observe, that it was an affinity of marriage between the royal houses of Judah and Israel, that caused this junction in war, for (as it appears, 2 Chronicles 21:6 ) Jehoram, Jehoshaphat's son, had married Ahab's daughter. But what a wretched alliance! and sorry I am to add, that in the present hour, even among many professing godliness, riches, and not grace, are too often made the object by which marriage-connections are formed. But of all such it may be said, Be sure thy sin shall find thee out. Numbers 32:23 .
See how the alliance began to work. Jehoshaphat is enticed into a battle. Ramoth-gilead in fact belonged to Jehoshaphat, for it was a city in the tribe of Gad. And yet Ahab it seems meant, had he conquered, to have united it to his kingdom.
This account is so similar, as far as it goes, to what is related in the book of the Kings already referred to, that I do not think it necessary to make any further observations, unless it be on that clause which is particularly added here, but not noticed in the former history, that at the crying out of Jehoshaphat, (2 Chronicles 18:31 ), the Lord helped him, and moved the Syrians to depart from him. It is delightful to observe how the Lord, who hath all hearts at his disposal, can and will interpose for the deliverance of his servants when all human aid fails. The Lord may permit, as in the case of Jehoshaphat, that our sins and backslidings shall correct; they may and sometimes will, bring us into extreme danger; but in every temptation the Lord will make a way to escape; and though not for our deserts, but for his great name's sake, he will save in time of need.
PAUSE, Reader, over the perusal of this chapter, and passing by for the present other considerations, let your meditations with mine be deeply exercised in beholding the striking contrast between the false and lying prophets here represented, seducing Ahab to his ruin, and the faithful honest Micaiah, in foretelling to him what would take place.
Nothing in history, nothing in all the events of the world, nothing in the setting up, or putting down empires, bears the least proportion, in point of magnitude and importance, to that of men drawing the line of eternal distinction between true and false teachers, concerning the truths as they are in Jesus.
Who in the days of Ahab would have ventured to have called in question those four hundred prophets, who all with one voice concurred in sending Ahab to battle with full assurance of success; and who backed their commission in the name of the Lord? And who would have ventured to come forward, when the poor solitary prophet Micaiah, from the prison, foretold the awful event hanging ready to fall upon the head of the king, and to have justified his faithfulness? But the event manifested where the truth lay. It is not pomp, nor parade, though accompanied with pretended commissions from Jesus, can certify to truth. Men, destitute themselves of saving knowledge, can never be safely followed in what they deliver on divine things. And the Lord Jesus himself hath marked hirelings in such plain characters, as leave it no great matter of difficulty to discover the object of their ministry. They may, like the four hundred, be numerous, be of one mind, discourse with great confidence, and of certain success; but the apostle awfully speaks of the bringers in of heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, that they shall bring upon themselves swift destruction.
The Micaiahs of the present day may be, as he was, exposed to much persecution. Like Paul and his few faithful followers, they may be held up as a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. And faithfulness will be sure, when exercised in the reproving sinners, to bring upon them the obloquy, the scorn, the derision, to speak the best of it, of men; and to provoke the rage of devils. But if their ministry be directed to exalt the Saviour, and humble the sinner; if they preach Christ, and not themselves; set forth the wretchedness of man in his highest attainments, and insist upon the person, offices, blood, and righteousness of Jesus, as the whole of salvation; here we may safely join issue with what so fully corresponds to the counsel of God in the salvation of sinners. Christ is declared to be both the wisdom of God and the power of God for salvation, to everyone that believeth. These are they whose faith I pray you to follow, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 18". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19