In 2 Kings 3 is the story of two kings who get into trouble. King Joram (king of Israel) and King Jehosapht (king of Judah) respond very differently to the same situation:
The Moabites rebelled against Joram Joram decided to ask Jehoshaphat for assistance in taking on the Moabites. Joram wanted to go through Judah and attack Moab from the back. It was a good plan, but there was one issue. They ran out of water. Let’s see how each king responds.
Joram responds with despair (2 Kings 3:10). … Joram panics and thinks there is no hope for them. He even blames God for his situation.
Jehoshaphat seeks God (2 Kings 3:11). … Jehoshaphat asks for a man of God that they might ask what God is doing in this situation.
Why do they respond differently?
Their relationship with God is different:
Joram (2 Kings 3:1-3) … Joram was son of Ahab, who was one of the worst kings, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:3-6) … Jehoshaphat had a relationship with God and had experience with trouble before.
Jehoshaphat had been in trouble before: Sometimes a little trouble prepares us for bigger troubles … Even King David saw minor troubles that prepared him for future, giant troubles.
The prequel to our story is in 1 Kings 22 … King Ahab wanted to go to war with Aram and wanted Jehoshaphat’s assistance. Jehoshaophat said to fris seek God’s counsel. Ahab asked the advice of 400 false prophets and they told him he would win the battle. The one true prophet he asked said he would die in battle. He was right. Ahabn was in disguise so he wouldn’t be a target, but a random arrow hit him. Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat was spared because the Aram soldiers were instructed to only attack Ahab.
So, how did our two kings fare? They found Elisha, a prophet, who told them what God was doing. Elisha tells them that God will flood the valley. Well, that water appeared as blood the Moabites and they thought the kings and their armies had slaughtered each other, granted themselves victory. So they went to plunder the fallen armies, but ended up getting slaughtered.
Jehoshaphat will be in trouble again: Again, he would seek God.
The sequel to our story is in 2 Chronicles 20 … The Moabites tried the same tactic against Judah, coming up from behind. They reached the city and Jehoshaphat saw how outnumbered they were. Jehoshaphat sought God again. He then sent out the praise team to the front line, and as they sang, God somehow sent ambushes onto the Moabites.
Jehoshaphat provides us with a great example of how to respond to trouble. Seek God’s counsel.