Second Kings 3 Commentary
But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” It’s the same question for the son as was for the father. Joram wasn’t exactly on the same level of righteousness as Jehoshaphat; neither was he on the same level of wickedness as his father Ahab. He was however seriously lacking in the real knowledge of the God of Abraham. This would partly explain his taking off on a very serious mission without consulting the LORD.
Elisha is not at all impressed with king Joram. The LORD isn’t an answer-machine that every Jim and Jack turns to, even without any real relationship. However, because of the respected king Jehoshaphat, the prophet intercedes and the LORD answers favorably.
Running to the LORD when a project goes bad, having ignored prayer in the first place, is a common human problem. Who isn’t guilty? However, because of the Son, (the LORD Jesus), the LORD does tolerate this kind of stupidity. Therefore, right in the midst of real trouble, even when one foolishly forgets to engage the LORD in their project, the LORD still invites you to come to him in prayer. This indeed is a very powerful lesson for us all from this chapter.
And according to the word of the LORD, there was a victory. But this victory was interrupted by child sacrifice by the enemy king – a horrible Canaanite practice meant to solicit help from the pagan gods.
This chapter gives us a good picture of spiritual warfare. We have two military camps. Each camp has its own set of armory. There is physical engagement for the saint, but we also understand that this should only come after a visit to the Throne room. This is what the three kings did here in this chapter. The enemy camp has its own armory which involves both physical engagement and a visit to their gods. Sadly for them, the rituals involved child sacrifice. Today these rituals have different names and all sorts of upgrades and levels but they are all the same.
Interestingly though, there is spillage of blood for the saint. This blood isn’t for the saint or the saint’s son, but God’s Son. A real relationship with the LORD and a prayer in the Son’s name is all that the saint requires for his battles.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Revelation 12 verse 11a.
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