Summary: Ahab and Jehoshaphat sat and listened to the good news from Ahab's prophets, but their good news was bad news because it came from deceitful lips. Let us have the Spirit of discernment to know the will of God in all things and not fail to uphold the trut
When the Good News isn’t Good News
By Rev. James May
Good news is hard to find in the media of this world. Sensationalism, bad news, murder and mayhem are what sells papers or keeps the public tuned in to their favorite news channel. I discovered a long time ago that if I listened to too many news broadcasts on the radio or TV, or if I spent too much time reading the newspaper, that all of the negativity and bad news would eventually affect my mind and make it so much harder to preach without always going back to the latest news story. That’s not where a Christian should dwell. If you put in negativity, guess what is going to come out! That’s right, “Negativity”.
In fact, about the only thing that I’ve heard is good news on the TV is when I hear of my favorite sports team winning their game, but then even that has a negative side because in order for my team to win, another team had to lose.
Sometimes good news is superseded by bad news like the man who went into his doctor friend’s office for a checkup and while he was there they began to discuss investments in the stock market, comparing how their portfolios were doing. After a thorough examination and a long discussion, the doctor left for a long time. When he finally came back into the room he said, “Well, Sam, I have some good news and some bad news!” Fearing the bad news, Sam asked for the good news first. The doctor said, “According an article in the Wall Street Journal, your stocks are going to split and gain a lot of value. You stand to make millions within very quickly.’ Overjoyed at this good news, Sam then said, “Great, that’s wonderful news. Now what’s the bad news you spoke of?” The doctor looked at him and sadly said, “I guess the easiest way to say this is that in about 6 months you’ll be able have a really first class funeral.”
Sometimes we grow so accustomed to hearing bad news that we don’t even recognize the good news when it comes.
That’s kind of the way it is with preaching the gospel. When someone who is lost in sin hears the gospel it has a two edged sword effect upon his life. First there is the bad news when he discovers that he is lost and in sin, but the good news hidden in that bad news is that there is a Savior, Jesus Christ, whose blood has the power to wash away sin and give us new life by being spiritually born again.
In 2 Chronicles chapter 18 we see this happening in the life of King Ahab. Of course, if you know the history of Israel’s kings in the Old Testament, you will recognize that name Ahab, because he was one of the worst kings that Israel ever had. He was an idolater and played around with the occult, delving into witchcraft and seeking the advice of witches in order to gain knowledge of the future and how to lead Israel.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah had come to the aid of King Ahab who was then king over the northern kingdom of Samaria. Jehoshaphat had been duped into joining Ahab against a common enemy who dwelled in Ramoth-Gilead. Just because they were both kings over people of Israel, Jehoshaphat thought he owed it to Ahab to join in the battle. Little did Jehoshaphat know that he was getting himself into something that he would soon regret.
We need to be very careful of the alliances we make and the friends we keep. Just because someone agrees with you doesn’t mean that they will make good partners in any business proposition. Some of the most compromising situations we can get ourselves into is when we think that we have so much in common with someone and we think we can trust them and then once we’ve joined their cause we find out that their “cause” may not be so good after all.
Jehoshaphat had some doubts about what he was getting into. Ahab was just being too confident and too quick to move in attacking the enemy.
2 Chronicles 18:4, "And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day."
A few verses before, the Bible says that Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance. The reason for all of that is given right her in this verse. No matter what he faced, Jehoshaphat was quick to take it before the Lord and seek the counsel and direction of the Lord. My friends, if we want the riches of God’s grace and the blessings of God in our lives, we must learn to follow Jehoshaphat’s example. Seek God first, and everything else will fall into place.