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Who Was Jehoshaphat
And Why Did He Jump?
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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You have heard the song Great Jumping Jehoshaphat. I will explain why he ‘jumped’.
Jehoshaphat was a king of Judah (the kingdom of the Jews) some generations after the famous kings David and his son Solomon. After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam reigned, followed by Rehoboam’s son Abijah, then Abijah’s son Asa, and fourthly Asa’s son Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 12-22).
Jehoshaphat was king of Judah about 860 BC. This was after the time when the notorious Ahab was king of the neighbour kingdom of Israel, with whom the prophet Elijah had a massive showdown on Mount Carmel.
It’s important to understand that the Jewish kingdom (Judah) was distinct and separate from the Israelite kingdom, comprising ten tribes. The Jews were in the south of ‘Palestine’; Israel was in the north and vastly outnumbered the Jews. The ten tribes of Israel got ‘lost’ in later history, after being conquered by Assyria, and as many of them blended in with them.
It’s vital to appreciate this distinction between Israel and Judah (Israelites and Jews) to understand what followed.
The biblical book of 2 Kings records a war in which Jehoshaphat was engaged. The king of Moab, a vassal state to Israel, had rebelled and refused to pay tribute or taxes. So, the king of Israel (Jehoram) was about to go to war against Moab. He thought he needed more forces, so he asked Jehoshaphat if he would be an ally. Jehoshaphat agreed, and together with troops from Edom they advanced towards Moab.
The location was the Wilderness of Edom (2 Ki 3:8). But there was no water for the horses or troops, and after seven days without confronting the Moabite army, they were about to completely fail from thirst. The king of Israel contemplated conceding defeat (2 Ki 3:9-10), but Jehoshaphat didn’t; he was a man of faith. He said: "Is there no prophet of God here, that we may inquire of God by him?" (v 11.)
At that point, a servant of Israel’s king remembered Elisha the prophet. So, the two kings, and the king of Edom, visited the prophet Elisha (2 Ki 3:12).
Elisha was none too pleased to see the wayward king of Israel, but because he was with Jehoshaphat, who obeyed God, Elisha agreed to ask God for input. When Elisha inquired of God, God responded and Elisha prophesied:
"Make this valley full of ditches, for thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’
" ‘And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand’ " (2 Ki 3:16-18).
Talk about a sudden reversal of fortunes!
"Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered [note the importance of the principle of sacrifice], that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water." (2 Ki 3:20.)
When the Moabite army saw this lake glistening in the morning sun, they thought it was a huge pool of blood, and they rushed in to take the spoils, only to find the armies of Israel, Judah and Edom waiting for them. Moab was crushed!
Jehoshaphat’s victory was made possible by God, though few believe the biblical stories today, despite similar modern miracles such as Dunkirk in the 2nd World War.
Why is Jehoshaphat described as ‘jumping’? Was he ‘jumping for joy’?
It goes back to a prophecy which Israel’s king David uttered, explaining about how God works with people:
That scripture is being fulfilled once again in our day in Iraq! But the above prophecy goes on:
And that’s what Jehoshaphat did, metaphorically speaking. He ‘jumped’ on that occasion because of the supernatural help of God. Malcolm B Heap
(From MM Newsletter 21, May 2003)
Some of these matters are more fully explained in the following publications.
How God speaks today: Listening To God (Lis).
About prophets and prophesying: Prophets and Prophesying (PP).
Ethnic origin of the British: Identity of Britain and America (Id).
Our Sabbath Rest (S).
The Controversy Concerning Law and Grace (LG).
Revelations From God About The Judgement Of Britain (Jud).
Five volumes of The Bible Speaks (TBS1-TBS5).
The 23rd Channel
The TV is my shepherd, I feel I lack nothing.
Surely goodness and love will elude me
All the days of my life.
While I will dwell in the house of Satan
And do nothing about it.
(Author unknown; some parts added by MBH. Cf. Ps 23, NIV.)
Some Prevalent Modern Sins
Praying For Self
We are exhorted to "pray continually" (1 Thes 5:17, NIV). But what should you pray for? What should be central to your prayers? Jesus gave the answer. That is below, alongside what most people pray.
Self-centredness is a massive sin that none of us sees as God does. But perhaps this grotesque caricature (prayer) of our approach when we are selfish, helps you see it more as God does.
People pray selfish prayers, revolving around themselves. Jesus tried to teach us what prayer is meant to be. It’s meant to cause us to be less selfish and more like Him. It’s meant to change us, not God!
Why Pray? (WP). Why Love? (WL).
Pondering The Matter of Prayer (Pon).
What Every Christian Should Consider (Chr).
Giving and Receiving (GR).
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