Jehoshaphat’s Search

Handwritten page from the first book of Kings chapter 22 verses 4 through 12.
1Kings 22:4-12

Synopsis     1Kings 22:4-12     7/8/2019 

King Jehoshaphat and King Ahab met together. This was the first ever example of a king from Israel and a king from Judah coming together since the split between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. And King Ahab suggested that both kingdoms come together to attack Ramoth-gilead. This seemed reasonable and good to Jehoshaphat. So, the king agreed to join forces.  

But Jehoshaphat also wanted to know what God thought of the plan. So, he asked King Ahab to make an inquiry concerning God through the local prophets. Once assembled, the local prophets encouraged the kings to attack. And, they assured a victory.  

In fact, a prophet named Zedekiah made a pair of iron horns and prophesied that’s Israel’s victory would be like the two horns of iron. 

But for some reason, Jehoshaphat wasn’t satisfied. So, he pressed Ahab. Because of this, Ahab called for a prophet named Micaiah to come and give counsel.  

Jehoshaphat’s Search 

Jehoshaphat was searching for a true word. In particular, he sought for an authoritative witness concerning the prospect of battle. But for some reason, he discerned that Ahab’s prophets lacked authority. And so he rightly sought the testimony of another perspective.  

The Search for Truth 

We all have an intrinsic need to know the truth. And, according to both scripture and common personal experience, the truth is always established by multiple witnesses.  

But not all witnesses are created equal. Some are eye-witnesses whose testimony is based on a specific experience. Others are based less on direct experience of a specific event. But rather such witnesses testify on the basis of their wisdom. And these witnesses testify not about a particular experience, but rather about the principles behind the experience.  

We call these “expert” witnesses. And because experts are testifying about principles, their testimony is intrinsically valid – at least to the extent that they really have expertise.  

This is the case of the Magisterium. The interpretive confidence we have is based on the unimpeachable testimony of God’s ordained tradition. 

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 18:18 

July 11, 2019

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