2 Chronicles 18:28-34 (Part 2) – Obeying A Very Practical Prophecy

Posted: September 7, 2020 in 12-2 Kings

2 Chronicles 18:28-34 (Part 2 of 2)

The Death of Ahab

Opening Illustration/Comments

Over the weekend, I decided to run my credit report for the first time in 2-3 years. I have known for some time that my credit rating and score was pretty darn good as in the past four or five years (1) we have had no trouble getting mortgages and so on and (2) we get very few of those too incredible to be true credit card offers or offers for credit cards for those with bad credit. However, I was not sure exactly what our score was. So as to maintain my privacy here, let’s just say that my score was in the exceptional range (within 30-35 points of having a perfect score). The only rap against my credit by the credit services was that my credit file was now thin. It means that we have paid off virtually all our debts. Since I am a United Methodist Church pastor now, we no longer have a mortgage since we live in a parsonage. Further, both of our cars, though old, are reliable and the best part is that they are both paid for. We only have two bank issued credit cards and we pay them off every month. The only real debt that we have to speak of is the student loans related to my current pursuit of my doctor of ministry degree.

The all began with a prophecy that the Lord gave my wife 11 years ago. In my previous job, as the lead financial executive of a division of a global electronics company. In that position, bonuses were paid based on the performance of our company in comparison to budget. From my second year there until I went into full-time ministry two and half years ago, I received a bonus every year by the blessing of God. Eleven years ago, I was of a different mindset than now when it came to money. I had been through two divorces and money was always thin and I spent money when I had and spent on things that made me happy. Tax refunds went to pay for nice vacations and so on. You know the mindset. You see advertisements on TV every year around Feb-Mar to entice people with refunds to blow their money on something. I was one of those people. Having been married twice to women who seemed to think money grew on trees or that they wanted lifestyles I could not afford and my own penchant, too, for wanting to live a life higher than my circumstances allowed, my credit rating was for crap, somewhere in the low 500s.

However, the prophecy given to Elena, the final wife for this man, that we should do whatever it took to clean up my credit as God had a plan for us (an unrevealed future plan at that time). We began by seeking out all the charge-offs on my credit report and making deals with them to clean up those items. We made offers to those medical provider charge offs, old credit card chargeoffs, and a car write-off. The Lord provided us with my bonus that met exactly everyone of those charge offs. Then we began working on past due accounts. Then, we began paying off credit cards on a monthly basis. Instead of using bonuses and refunds from that point on, I no longer felt the need to spend them on temporary or lavish pleasures and began tithing on them and then putting them away in savings. We even paid off my student loans for both my master’s degrees (one dating back to 2000 and the other in 2014). We downsized our lifestyle and were able to be generous to our church and to others in need when the need occurred. We have been mightily blessed by an amazing God. And we were ready when the time came to go into full-time ministry on much less income.

It all began with a very practical prophecy given to my wife. Get control of your finances and begin living simply and generously. When you obey a prophecy over your life, it leads to doors being opened that most assured would have remained shut. What a difference it makes when God gives you a prophecy and you react to it in a way that God wants instead of rebelling against it. Where would we be today if we had not obeyed the very practical prophecy given to Elena. To me, this blog post is not about improving my credit rating by paying off old debts and living much more simply (living at or below 90% of our income and saving money wherever we can). It is about obeying God when He commands you to do something in a very real and tangible way or if it is just a general feeling that He gives you about something, anything. It is obeying His direction because when we obey it opens up the path that He has for us. When we do the hard thing that He calls us to do, when we don’t do the selfish thing and choose to obey Him, He will open other doors that He has intended for you. It can all start with obedience in some seemingly unrelated area. How could obeying God in cleaning up my credit report lead a couple into full-time ministry? It can. One obedience in a seemingly unrelated thing, led to trusting Him more and more in other commands, and then here we are. That’s what this blog is about.

It is that idea of heeding the prophetic words given us by God that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 18:28-34. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

28 So King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah led their armies against Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.

30 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his chariot commanders: “Attack only the king of Israel! Don’t bother with anyone else.” 31 So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. “There is the king of Israel!” they shouted. But Jehoshaphat called out, and the Lord saved him. God helped him by turning the attackers away from him. 32 As soon as the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they stopped chasing him.

33 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses[a] and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of the chariot. “I’m badly wounded!”

34 The battle raged all that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans. In the evening, just as the sun was setting, he died.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Micaiah had prophesied death for Ahab so he disguised himself to fool the enemy. However, his disguise did not change the prophecy. A random arrow found an open place in his armor and killed him. God fulfills His will despite the defenses people try to erect. God can use anything, even an error, to bring His will to pass. This is good news for Christ followers because we can trust Him to work out His plan and keep His promises no matter how desperate our circumstances are. Ahab did not repent and seek God’s forgiveness and this negative prophecy was fulfilled. God only wants us to obey Him so that we can operate in the space that He designed us to operate in.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that sometimes God gives us a chance to obey Him and it’s against what your selfish desires are, it is a hard decision. However, obedience to the Lord and what He calls or commands us to do will always bring joy to your life. And joy does not come from blowing your money on yourself. It comes from obeying the Lord and sometimes it starts with a small, seemingly insignificant thing in the grand scheme of your life. But when we start obeying Him in the small things, it can lead us to obey Him in the larger things and it leads to doors being opened that would have remained closed and there comes the joy. When we are obedient, He leads us to what He had intended for us all along. When we are operating in the space that God wants us to be and designed us to be in, then we find our sweet spot. We find the joy of doing what God called us to do. That does not mean that it will be some financially rewarding thing but rather some soul-satisfying, kingdom-oriented thing that He has called us toward and for which He designed us to operate in.

For us, it began with obeying a very practical prophecy.

Amen and Amen.

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