Sunday service, Bongani Zondi, 27 Aug 2017
(Rev Erlo Stegen took the service at Kingscliffe today for the opening of the new church building there. The summary will follow soon)
1 And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.
2 And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.
3 And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? note
4 And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.
5 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.
Here we see two kings, the one a good king who feared God and sought to please God. He did good for Judah.
On the other side there was the evil king Ahab. He followed in the footsteps of king Jeroboam who lead Israel away from God. The Bible says he was more evil than the kings before him. He was married to the wicked Jezebel who encouraged him in his evil. They forsook God and served the Baals and Ashtaroth.
We also read that there was peace between Israel and Syria at this time.
We read that Jehoshaphat had the yearning to visit Ahab. Why? Maybe he wanted to help him, but we don’t know.
Do you yearn to be with those who are dead spiritually? As a child, do you yearn to visit those homes where you can watch TV or videos or music that is not allowed at your home? You might be an upright person but there are things you associate with which bring you down.
Ahab received Jehoshaphat with great honor, and that won him over. When Ahab asked him to join him in battle it was very difficult to say no. Ahab had caught him in his trap.
With whom had you made an agreement? In what trap had the devil caught you? Maybe you have such an agreement with a boy or girl? Do you go into that home where God is not feared, with the excuse that you want to win them over. You associate with them and are defiled with their sins.
Jehoshaphat almost lost his life. It can be that the things you associate with will cost your life. But Jehoshaphat cried out to God and was helped.
These days we heard in the news that there were about 300 who ate human flesh at the home of a witch doctor! If you associate with witch doctors that is what you will get! Be very careful with whom you associate.
Four hundred prophets prophesied and said that they should go into battle and be victorious, but Jehoshaphat asked whether there be yet a prophet of God. When Micah came he said how he saw Israel scattered as sheep without a shepherd, and how Ahab will die in battle. Ahab was angry with Micah and ignored his advice and was killed in battle as Micah had prophesied.
There’s a legend of a monkey who was warned by his mom not to associate with the crocodiles on the bank of the river. But he teased them and when they would come for him he would simply climb into a tree. One day a crocodile said to him, that he wanted to show him a beautiful large lake on the other side of the river. If the monkey would get on his back he would take him there the following day. The monkey was very curious and didn’t tell his mom. The next day early he went to the crocodile to take him to the beautiful lake. He climbed on his back and the crocodile swam to the middle of the river. Then the crocodile said to the monkey that he actually brought him to the middle of the river to take out his heart and give it to his grandfather who is very ill, for that will cure him. The monkey got the shock of his life but thought fast. He then told the crocodile that it was a pity, because monkeys leave their hearts in the trees when they go out for the day. If only he had known, he could have brought his heart along. The crocodile then took him back to the bank of the river to go and fetch his heart. But the monkey jumped off at the bank of the river, climbed the nearest tree and laughed at the foolish crocodile. His curiosity almost cost him his life.