Study of the Book of Kings – 1Ki 22:30-44  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…”

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1Ki 22:30-44  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood…”

[Study Aired July 14, 2022]

In this last chapter we’ll look at the order of events with these various kings, and their sons in question, in hope of discovering what the spiritual message is for God’s elect today who know that all these kings, good or bad or somewhat good or bad, represent the spiritual wrestling matches we have in our heavens Christ has caused so that we are brought to our wits’ end (Psa 107:6) bringing us to cry out in this weak flesh that constantly needs deliverance from “the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” against which we wrestle (Eph 6:12).

Psa 107:6  Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

If we are blessed to read, hear and keep the sayings of the prophecies in God’s word in this life (Rev 1:3), our depth of appreciation will grow for all these characters we will read about in scripture as well as every person we have ever known directly or indirectly in this world.

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

With God’s spirit within us and a determination that comes from Him to endure until the end of this life, being faithful to what we have been shown, we are given, through our Lord, an ability to continue to make sense of those things that we now read with eyes that see and ears that hear (Mat 13:16), along with a hunger and thirst to keep these sayings (Mat 5:6). This is why it is possible that we can take heed to the word of God in which we labor and cherish, knowing these are the words of eternal life God has given His elect to hold onto like a crown (Joh 6:68, Rev 3:11, Joh 8:31-32).

Mat 13:16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 

Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled [keep].

Joh 6:68  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life

Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

In this last chapter of the first book of Kings, the scriptures tell us how Ahab went out to battle with Jehoshaphat against the king of Syria (1Ki 22:30-34), resulting in his death and Elijah’s prophecy being fulfilled that the dogs would lick up his blood (1Ki 22:35-38). Ahab would then sleep with his fathers, and his son Ahaziah would reign in his stead (1Ki 22:40).

Then we’re given a review of the timeline that Jehoshaphat the son of Asa ruled over Judah in relation to the then yet alive king of Israel, Ahab. It was in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel that Jehoshaphat began to reign over Judah, and he was thirty five at this point when he began to rule (1Ki 22:41-44).

For the most part, Jehoshaphat was spoken of as being a good king of Judah who did not turn aside from doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord as did his father, Asa. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel, Ahab, and as we read in the previous verses they fought together against the king of Syria (1Ki 22:39-44).

We then see the son of Ahab, whose name was Ahaziah, trying to make alliance with the king of Judah, but Jehoshaphat refused to let that happen. Then we’re told of Jehoshaphat’s death and learn of his son, Jehoram, who would reign in his stead (1Ki 22:45-50).

The chapter ends by letting us know the year that Ahaziah began to rule over Israel in Samaria, which was the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah. Ahaziah only reigned two years over Israel, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord as did his father and mother, for he served Baal, and “worshiped him, and provoked to anger the LORD God of Israel, according to all that his father had done” (1Ki 22:51-53).

Last week’s study was about taking heed, and this last chapter of 1st Kings is about recognizing how we can and should take heed against the powers and principalities that we are wrestling against. The history of these kings is laid out for our sakes to give us a clear symbolic picture of how prophecy is fulfilled in war. These wars typify for God’s elect the powers and principalities we war against daily and can only be overcome through Jesus Christ through whom we are more than conquerors (Eph 6:10-13, Rev 3:12, Rom 8:37).

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand

Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name [Eze 36:26].

Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 

1Ki 22:30  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. 
1Ki 22:31  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. 

These opening verses of our study discuss one of the key ways Satan tries to deceive and conquer God’s people, by having us don the king’s robes so that there is an outward appearance of righteousness when in fact our actions are anything but: “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.” This is akin to saying ‘Lord, Lord’ but not doing the things that He commands us (Luk 6:46).

This temporary illusion is soon seen through, and nothing is going to stop the king of Syria’s marching orders to “Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel” who was trying to blend in as a common soldier without his kingly robes on. These three verses, (1Ki 20:42, 1Ki 21:19, 1Ki 22:17), address prophetic events written to our old man, typified by Ahab whose days are numbered, and no amount of scheming is going to stop God from accomplishing the goal of having no flesh inherit the kingdom of God, no carnality, no old man of sin (1Co 15:50):

1Ki 20:42  And he [a certain man of the sons of the of prophets” of verse 35] said unto him [Ahab], Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. 

1Ki 21:19  And thou [Elijah] shalt speak unto him [Ahab], saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession [of Naboth’s vineyard]? And thou [Elijah] shalt speak unto him [Ahab], saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. 

1Ki 22:17  And he [Micaiah] said [to Ahab], 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.

Let’s not forget that this war’s outcome, spoken of by all three prophets here, was, as are all battles, a foregone conclusion, all according to the will of God (2Pe 1:21, 1Jn 2:17).

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 
2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 
2Pe 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

1Jn 2:17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Syria represents our own sins chastening us (Jer 2:19) by the grace through faith process which God has ordained and is symbolized by the “thirty [a multiple of 3] and two [2] captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel” that the king of Syria commanded be sent. (30 is a multiple of 3 which denotes the completion of the process of judgment, the (link here to that study) completion of the process of judgment, along with the number 2 that symbolizes a (link here) witness of that judgment: 3+2 = 5 which symbolizes grace through faith (link).) As we will see in the next verses, (1Ki 22:32-33), Ahab’s cover is blown which represents our sins that will be found out (Num 32:23).

Jer 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. 

Num 32:23  But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

1Ki 22:32  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. 
1Ki 22:33  And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceivedH7200  that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. 

Our old man of sin, represented by Ahab here, is discovered once we are able to seeH7200 a situation for what it is through grace and faith, represented by the 32 captains.

It also only became clear that this was not the king of Israel because the king of Judah “cried out” to God, which is revealed in the other recounting of this story in 2 Chronicles 18:32. We cry out to God to spare our spiritual lives, and we are heard in that we fear, and so Jehoshaphat represents that Godly fear we desire (Heb 5:7) “doing right in the eyes of the LORD”  (1Ki 22:43).

2Ch 18:31  And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, It  the king of Israel. Therefore, they compassed about him to fight; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God separated them from him.

Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears [“but Jehoshaphat cried out“] unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 

1Ki 22:34  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.

Every single event of our life is written in His book. All our days are numbered (Psa 139:16), all our successes and failures, all our joy and hurt, all the increase of Christ in our life that comes from God (1Co 3:6), and all the humbling of our old man and the ultimate destruction of him is of the Lord as we decrease and He increases within us (Joh 3:30). This is the lesson behind this particular arrow that was shot at a ventureH8537 which perfectly went where the Lord wanted it to go to wound Ahab “between the scales where his armor breastplates joined” or “between the joints of the armor“.

The positive example of ‘breastplate’ as we will see is found in the breakdown of the word “venture” [H8537 venture, H8552 tâmam, H8550 tûmmı̂ym] telling us that all fiery darts are quenched by the faith of Christ and the righteousness of Christ found within his bride (Eph 6:14, Rev 19:8).

The vanity of man’s flesh tries to hide from the Lord via our own strength like Adam and Eve in the garden among the trees (Gen 3:8), but no amount of subterfuge with these two kings within us is going to thwart God’s plan from destroying Ahab, by sending His word, which is represented by this arrow that was shot at a ventureH8537.

The gates of hell are really the deceitful and desperately wicked heart that wants to save itself, but God will overcome those gates within us as He told Peter (Mat 16:18). All that was left to do now that the king was severely wounded was to flee from the battle scene, “Wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.” Like Adam and Eve in the garden though, there was no place to hide from the Lord and the forthcoming punishment which was soon to unfold perfectly (Jer 23:18-20, 1Th 5:2-3, Gen 4:13-14, Job 18:17-18, Jer 10:10).

Jer 23:18  For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
Jer 23:19  Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
Jer 23:20  The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 
1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Gen 4:13  And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 
Gen 4:14  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 

Job 18:17  His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street. 
Job 18:18  He shall be driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world. 

Jer 10:10  But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

1Ki 22:35  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.
1Ki 22:36  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. 
1Ki 22:37  So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.
1Ki 22:38  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.

This situation demonstrates for us that we can’t make war against the beast, symbolized by being “stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians” (Rev 13:4). It is only through Christ that we can become more than conquerors over all our enemies (Rom 8:37). Ahab was taken “out of the host” as he represents our old man that cannot continue to battle to enter into the kingdom by his own strength (Heb 6:3-6, Eze 31:14).

Heb 6:3  And this will we do, if God permit.
Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 
Heb 6:5  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 
Heb 6:6  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

Eze 31:14  To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit [Gen 3:8].

God is a just Father, and this is the verdict for all flesh that we are privileged to perceive being played out in the life of Ahab (1Co 15:50) our flesh, cornered by his enemy where our own iniquities are chastening us to the point of death. The adamic blood running into the midst of his chariot symbolizes how there is no strength in the first man Adam who is destroyed, bringing about the proclamation that goes throughout the host about the going down of the sun (Mal 4:2), saying, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country“, and that would include Ahab who “was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria“, his own city, his own country, (Heb 11:10, Heb 11:14) where his own strength failed after residing and ruling for 22 years (1Ki 16:29).

Heb 11:10  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 

Heb 11:14  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

The events that unfolded were for our sakes to remind and admonish us that our own strength, our armor, or our chariot, all of our flesh and heart that is so wicked, at the end of the day is all covered with our own blood that is washed by our own means and licked up by dogs who have no regard for our life. This is all telling us (1Co 10:11) that we must die, and are as water spilled on the ground, “which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him” (2Sa 14:14), each expelled man in his order.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 

1Ki 22:39  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? 
1Ki 22:40  So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead. 

As usual, we have these closing words about the king found in “the chronicles of the kings of Israel” where, in this case we learn that Ahab was an industrious king who had an “ivoryH8127 house which he made, and all the cities that he built“, symbols which remind us that Ahab was an industrious beast (Ecc 3:18). Ahaziah, Ahab’s son would now reign in his stead and set out to be like his father and “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“.

1Ki 22:41  And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 
1Ki 22:42  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. 
1Ki 22:43  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. 
1Ki 22:44  And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel. 

Jehoshaphat began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel and was thirty-five years old when this happened. He reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem, and “his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi“. God’s timing is always perfect, so the symbolism of Judah having a new king who came in at the fourth year of Ahab’s reign tells us that this new king, Jehoshaphat, was going to be wholly instrumental in the outcome of the years of Ahab’s rule over Israel.

Starting to rule at thirty-five years as the king of Israel tells us something about how he was going to rule, along with the point that it was for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. Both of those numbers are multiples of five which is the number that symbolizes grace through faith.

Living by grace through faith (Eph 2:8) is typified by walking “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“.

We are told however that “nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places“, which symbolizes our inability to completely put sin out of our lives and our need to constantly be vigilant against the little leaven that can leaven the whole lump (1Jn 1:8-9, Gal 5:9).

1Jn 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 
1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Gal 5:9  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 

It was Jehoshaphat who made peace with the king of Israel, which typifies our need to make friends with the unrighteous mammon of this world (Luk 16:9), and at this point in our walk we are allowed to return in peace to our house (1Ki 22:17). However, if God is working with us in this age, that is not the end of the story for us, and these following verses (2Ch 19:1-3, 1Ki 22:17, 2Ch 20:30) remind us that Jehoshaphat, who is a type of overcomer, still has things that have to be worked on and purged out of his life, just as Christ told several of the churches in the book of Revelation, showing us that our battle against powers and principalities will be to our last breath (Rev 2:20, Rev 2:14, Eph 6:12-13).

2Ch 19:1  And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem
2Ch 19:2  And Jehu the son of Hanani 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. [Rev 2:20]
2Ch 19:3  Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God. 

2Ch 20:30  So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about. 
2Ch 20:31  And Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he 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. 
2Ch 20:32  And he walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the LORD.
2Ch 20:33  Howbeit the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers [Rev 2:14].

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalitiesG746, [Rev 2:14, Rev 2:20] against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

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