An Enigma machine is any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I.[1] The early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries — most notably by Nazi Germany before and during World War II.[2] Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models are the ones most commonly discussed. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EnigmaMachineLabeled.jpg

If we look at the outer appearances we may think that life is given to cheaters.  God has a path that allows us to operate in other realms if we have spiritual vision.  When men live outside of God’s plan they may try to deceive others, but they themselves are deceived.  Modern man has not learned the lessons presented here, so they repeat the mistakes as the Nazis did in trusting their secret codes.  They were not able to hide from God.

FAMILY REUNION

This chapter introduces Jehoshaphat as king of Judah.  He is new and may not be aware of the ways of his neighbor king Ahab of Israel.  He offers an alliance against their common enemy, Syria.  He is offering to continue occupation of the lands God has promised to Abraham.  Jehoshaphat is offering to end their hostilities and do God’s will.  Ahab is willing to punish the Syrians.

And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.  And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.  And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?  And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.  And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.  1 Kings 22:1-5

We don’t see the king of Israel identified as Ahab here.  Perhaps that suggests the possibility that Jehoshaphat may not know who the king of Israel really is.  He is a bit of an enigma to the king of Judah.  He identifies the kingdoms as being one; aligning light and dark together.  He asks Ahab to seek guidance from God…which God?  Ahab gathers his prophets for the question. 

Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.  And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?  And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.  Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.  1 Kings 22:6-9

Don’t you have one real prophet of God?  Well, yes but he tells the truth that I don’t want to hear!  Ahab finally consents to consult Micaiah the prophet of God.  But first we have to hear the word of Baal, AKA Satan.  They put on a show and promise victory in the coming battle.  Another opinion will follow, but they try to influence his testimony.

And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.  And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.  And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king’s hand.  And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.  1 Kings 22:10-13

Uhh…ask God what he says, but make sure it is what you want to hear?  Oh sure, I can do that; if that’s what you really want.

And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.  So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?  1 Kings 22:14-16

So Micaiah goes along with the party line, knowing that God will have his own way in spite of man’s love for a lie.  But Ahab already knows that the word of God is against him.  He has been warned often, and demands the truth.  Ahab understands the great secret of life; that the natural world is ruled by the supernatural world.  He may hate the reality of his doom, but he knows that the spiritual world is the real power of the battlefield of life.  The prophet now delivers the true view of the future.

And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.  And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?  And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.  And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.  And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.  And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.  Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.  1 Kings 22:17-23

Micaiah has opened the secrets of heaven, revealing the personalities of the spirits that will rule the day.  There are rulers in the spiritual realm that war above every battle of this life.  Modern man only sees this clearly in primitive societies where our missionaries see great spiritual movements because of simple faith.  False science blinds most of our modern societies to the spiritual struggle going on around us.  There was a blind leader for the people of Israel too.

But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?  And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.  And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son;  And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.  And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.  1 Kings 22:24-28

A prophet thrown in jail?  That seems to happen a lot, doesn’t it?  Be careful when people ask you for the truth; they can’t all handle it.  Ahab can’t handle the truth, but he recognizes it.  He tries to fool God.

So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.  And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.  But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.  And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out.  1 Kings 22:29-32

Now Jehoshaphat may understand what kind of a friend he has in Ahab.  Here, let me help you put this target on your back!  It’s a bit like the old “kick me” sign on the back trick.  He may also begin to see the power of the Lord proven per the words of Micaiah.  But the godly king is delivered from the snare, while a “lucky” shot fulfills the prophesy against Ahab. 

And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.  And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.  And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.  1 Kings 22:33-35

Can you hide from God?  An arrow from a bow drawn by chance in Ahab’s direction brings him low.  Is there any chance; any mere coincidence in this?  There is an order of battle established in the spiritual realm, far beyond our earthly warfare.  This war was over.

And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.  So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.  And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.  Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?  So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.  1 Kings 22:36-40

The Chronicles will elaborate on these events, and fill out our understanding.  The king is dead, will the new king rule well and prosper?  These kings of Israel and Judah are remembered for their works, and for such faith as they had as well.

And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.  Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.  And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD:  nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.  And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.  1 Kings 22:41-44

The legacy of Jehoshaphat was godly in most ways.  A few errors were made and peace with their brethren in Israel was not all bad.  Israel couldn’t carry their end of the union without God though.

Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he shewed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?  And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.  There was then no king in Edom: a deputy was king.  Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber.  Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not.  1 Kings 22:45-49

Jehoshaphat made reforms and managed his kingdom and navy.  That was still strong after the lessons of the Phoenicians helped them earlier.  Perhaps their access to gold mines would have created strife with Israel, but it was not to be.  Jehoshaphat seemed to know there could be trouble.

And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.  Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.  And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin:  For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the LORD God of Israel, according to all that his father had done. 1 Kings 22:45-49

If Jehoshaphat heard about Joseph he might remember that brothers are not always our greatest supporters.  The story of Joseph may not have been written yet, but the oral tradition kept these lessons alive.  The children of Abraham continue to live under the curses of the fathers to this day.  They will see with spiritual eyes in God’s time though.

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  Zechariah 12:10

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