I must admit that often when I ask someone a question, I don’t listen well to their response. Am I really interested in the other person or preoccupied with my own plans and thoughts? Or have we ever asked someone’s advice and then turned around and done the other thing?
Jehoshaphat began his reign over Judah very well, but then he married into the family of the infamous King Ahab of Israel and got drawn into some unwise situations. Ahab proposed that Jehoshaphat go to war with him against another nation. When Jehoshaphat wanted to first get God’s guidance on the matter, Ahab provided him with 400 lying prophets who enthusiastically promoted Ahab’s plan. Jehoshaphat saw through that and asked for a real prophet—one who would give God’s word.
I have to smile at Ahab’s response: “Yes, there is one, but I don’t like him because he never prophesies anything good about me; always bad.” Well, duh!
So Micaiah is called and eventually predicts how Ahab is going to be killed in the proposed battle. Ahab locks Micaiah up ignoring his warning, and—what does Jehoshaphat do? He wanted to know God’s decision, didn’t he? He asked for it, didn’t he? He heard it, didn’t he?
But he ignored it and went ahead to do what he’d already decided to do beforehand! He had a close call that day in the battle (Ahab was killed), but God was merciful. (Read about it in 2 Chronicles 18.)
So when I ask God for His guidance, am I really listening and willing to follow? Or do I just want His blessing on my own plan?