Before imposing my questions for the armchair quarterbacks. I think it is necessary to provide some information. gleaned from the Bible. to prepare our answers. My basic contention is that of Paul found in 2nd Timothy 3:15-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. and is profitable for doctrine. for reproof, for correction, or INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: that the men of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Case 1. We look to the story of Gideon, that “man of valour”, so designated by the Angel of the Lord. We find his challenge in Judges 6 : 33. “Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.” Quite a horde and interesting in that it included the Amalekitcs, against whom God pledged to have war from generation to generation, because they attacked Israel in the wilderness. This was the classic example of Israel winning with a small army so that the Lord, doing battle for them, would gain the credit and the heathen would learn of His power. So, Gideon took his “army”, (like a boy scout troop), with their lamps in earthen pots and their horns and surrounded the enemy encampment. Well. you know what happened and it is summarized in Judges 7 : 22. “And the three hundred blew the trumpets, AND THE LORD SET EVERY MAN’S SWORD AGAINST HIS FELLOW, EVEN THROUGHOUT ALL THE HOST: and the host fled. ” So, God turned the enemy against itself!
Jehoshaphat and the people mourning
Case 2). Jehoshaphat. the virtuous King of Judah, was requested by Ahab, the King of Israel, to join him in battle against the Syrians. In 2nd Chronicles 17:12-19, it is recorded the numbers of men that Jehoshaphat could place under arms and it was 1,160,000, no small army. Jehoshaphat agreed to join him and when Ahab consulted the 400 prophets of Baal, they told him to go up against the Syrians. Jehoshaphat, however, was not satisfied and wanted to consult a prophet of the Lord. Ahab could produce one called Micaiah, but he did not like him because his advice was always adverse, as it was this time when he forecast defeat. But the 400 voices carried the day and they engaged the Syrians in conflict with the result that Ahab was killed by an arrow that found the scent of his armour. Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem in peace but he was met by Jehu. 2nd Chron. 10:2&3. “And Jehu, the son of Hamlin the seer, went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. Nevertheless. there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves in the land, and last prepared thine heart to seek God.” Well, did the good outweigh the bad? No, he ignored the advice of Jehu, and conspired with Ahaziah, the King of Israel, to build a limy to go to Tarshish. The result is found in 2nd Chron. 20:37. “Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah. prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken that they were not able to go to Tarshish.” So. even though Jehoshaphat was a righteous king, by aligning himself with the ungodly kings of Israel, he suffered the wrath of God and those enterprises, jointly undertaken, failed.
Case 3). While Jehoshaphat was reigning in Judah, he was forced to assemble against a formidable host that came against him from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. (There is the Amalekitcs again!) So Jehoshaphat took the matter to the Lord in prayer and then in chapter 20, verse 21, it records the following. “And when HE HAD CONSULTED WITH THE PEOPLE, he appointed singers unto the Lord and that should praise the beauty of holiness. as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord. for His mercy endureth for ever.” The tale is summarized in verses 22-24. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammom, Moab and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah: and they were smitten. For the children of Ammom and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came towards the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and behold. they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.” Then, Judah collected the spoils and riches including precious jewels.
Case 4). The nation Israel pretends it shares the Christian God, and we have the confirming phrase Judeo-Christian. The first epistle of John 2: 23, “Whosoever denieth the Son hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledge the Son hath the Father also.” This nation has denied Jesus Christ since His ministry on earth, so in Bible terms. they are ungodly.
So, we have our four case studies. Play the role of armchair quarterbacks, how would you respond to the following questions’?
- Should the army of Manasseh remain in Iraq and Afghanistan?
- Should Manasseh attack Iran for the benefit of Israel?
- Should we attain victory with a larger army/navy?
- Should the people be consulted?
If you know the right answers based on the INSTRUCTION contained in the Bible, why do our leaders remain confounded?