In the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twelve years.
Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. And he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to battle against Moab?” And he said, “I will go. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Then he said, “By which way shall we march?” Jehoram answered, “By the way of the wilderness of Edom.”
So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. And when they had made a circuitous march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! The Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” Then one of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.” And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. II Kings 3:1, 4-12 ESV
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me. Psalm 86:3-7 ESV
Do you know how to reach emergency services where you live? In the United States, in many communities you dial 9-1-1 on the phone. This number will usually get you right through to a dispatcher, and you can tell this person what the problem is. Is there a medical emergency? The dispatcher might send an ambulance or the paramedics. Is there a crime or a dangerous situation? The dispatcher will probably send the police. Is there a fire? The dispatcher will sent the fire department.
Ahab’s son, Jehoram, became the king of Israel after him. The people of Moab had paid tribute to Ahab, but now that he was dead they refused to continue to send sheep and lambs to Jehoram. Jehoram wanted to go to battle against them, and he asked Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, for help. Jehoshaphat had already helped Ahab fight a battle, and he was still friendly with the northern kingdom and willing to help them. The two kings marched their armies through the wilderness of Edom, and the king of Edom and his army joined them. Then there was a problem. There was no water in this desert for the armies or their animals to drink! This was an emergency, and things looked pretty grim, but Jehoshaphat asked if there was a prophet of the Lord they could call on. He wanted to ask for God’s help through his prophet. Jehoshaphat worshiped the Lord, and he knew that he could call on God when he was in trouble.
We have the same hope and privilege that Jehoshaphat had. When we have trouble, we can call on God for help. He promises to hear us and to help us in the best way possible. Sometimes we make foolish choices that get us into trouble. Jehoshaphat kept on helping the kings of Israel, even though they didn’t worship the true God and were often rebellious against him. But Jehoshaphat knew that God wants his people to call on him when they are in trouble, and he was confident that the Lord would answer him. We can have the same confidence. We are sinful and do wrong things every day, but God sent Jesus to die for us to pay for our sins. Because of Jesus God forgives our sins every day. He loves us and always hears and answers our prayers.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and forgiving us. Thank you for hearing our prayers when we have troubles, and also every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.