Welcome back to KemiDele’s blog. My thoughts this Sunday dwell on a little historical event found in the Holy Bible.
You know that when we see a relationship like WALL*e and EVE, we remember the popular old saying: Opposites Attract. Yeah, but sometimes, for the sake of common good, some “opposites-alliance” must not be allowed to thrive.
There’s a Bible verse which states that “Be ye not UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER with unbelievers…” 2 Corinthians 6:14, kjv). I used to struggle with a Bible verse which preached an apparent discrimination. But over the years I understood the true implications of being unequally yoked together with someone, some organizations or institutions with conflicting values. It’s got nothing to do with discrimination; unequal yoke is a nightmare!!
The Message Bible captures the essence of this passage perfectly!!
“Don’t become partners with those who reject God.
How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war.
Is light best friends with dark?
Does Christ go strolling with the Devil?
Do trust and mistrust hold hands?
Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple?…” 2 Corinthians 6: 14-16a (Message Bible)
Now back to my story. It’s a story about some notable Kings and Queens in the Old Testament of the Bible.
I don’t know if you have ever heard of King Jehoshaphat, but you are more likely to have heard about King Ahab, and definitely about Jezebel. Yes, the same popular Jezebel – the Princess of Sidon, daughter of EthBaal, an absolute Monarch, and later became the wife of one of the worst Kings in Israel – king Ahab.
King Ahab and his wife Jezebel ruled over Northern Israel while King Jehoshaphat (King Jo the First) ruled over the smaller Southern Israel also known as the Judah Kingdom right about the same time, reigning for 22 and 25 years respectively.
King Ahab was notorious for his wickedness. He married a beautiful Princess Jezebel and they both ruled with iron hands from Samaria, the capital of Northern Israel. Their reign was full of terror and bloodshed. It was during his reign that Prophet Elijah caused 3 years of famine and also called fire from heaven. Their marriage was blessed with many children, especially Princess Athaliah!!
King Jehoshaphat (King Jo I) was the exact opposite. He was a good and a Godly man, a King of Reform. He was the one who made the Popular speech: “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper”. His reign was known for peace, prosperity and national revival.
King Jo I reasoned that the two Kingdoms should be able to work together in harmony, so he formed an alliance with King Ahab, (the biggest mistake of his life). In fact, his son Jo (Jehoram) married Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter, the beautiful Princess Athaliah, thus the two first families became in-laws.
How can such a good man Jehoshaphat and such an evil man become so yoked together in an alliance? We should find ways of unity rather than division. Jo’s intentions were noble, Ahab’s weren’t. Jo trusted Ahab so completely that the motto of their relationship became: Mi casa es Su casa!! What is Mine is Yours, My Home is Your Home!!
Anyways, King Jo I was about to meet the real Ahab! Many years later, Ahab deceived Jo into a war with some countries (Aram) based on border disputes. Ahab and Aram had some unresolved disputes where he (Ahab) was deceived by a disguised Aram king. Ahab was itching for a fight, but he wanted to use his friend, fellow king, partner and in-law Jo as the BAIT!!
When he enticed Jo I to join forces with him in that war against the Aram king, King Jo I replied using his usual lines: Mi casa es Su casa!!
“Why, of course!
You and I are as one.
My troops are your troops,
and my horses are your horses.” (1 Kings 22:4)
Even when Jo knew that the battle would be an unnecessary waste of precious lives and resources, he still agreed.
Even when he knew the spiritualists and prophets consulted were telling lies, he still agreed.
Even when Ahab showed his real intention: To expose King Jo I to danger to protect himself, Jehoshaphat still agreed. He was a man of his words, isn’t it?
(Ahab) The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Wear my kingly robe; I’m going into battle disguised.” So the king of Israel entered the battle in disguise. (1 King 22:30)
Meanwhile the Aram king was also not interested in the war. It was already three year after their last encounter and he wasn’t looking forward to any more battle; it would be an unnecessary waste of lives and resources. So he decided to kill the king (Ahab) and end the war.
King Jo the First fought another man’s battle, dressed in another man’s regalia, in another man’s chariot…. And he was attacked like that other man. To all, he was Ahab, the one and only target of the enemy.
Long story short, he escaped, but only by some Divine Intervention. Someone recognized his voice, and knew that was not the voice of Ahab. nor the attitude of Ahab. So they spared him. He ran back to his own Kingdom of Judah, without looking back! Experience, they say, is the best teacher
Ahab with all his disguise, unfortunately did not escape still. He was shot by a random soldier, and it blew up one of the big arteries of his leg. And he bled all day. The life of an ordinary soldier – he received no urgent medical attention, and no help at all. To the onlooker, he was another soldier and not the King, there was no need to rush. So he lost so much blood and died.
Well, this looks like the end of the story, right? But trust me when I say the saga was just BEGINNING!! Wrong association always has terrible repercussions; and we must never be afraid to pull out once we recognize the danger signs…
Watch out for the second and concluding part of “Before you say Mi Casa et Su Casa” next Sunday.
All scriptures, unless otherwise stated,are from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation.