Finding Solace in Bad Advice (2 Chronicles 18)
2 Chronicles 18 recounts an event during the reign of King Ahab of Israel. Ahab was a wicked king who did not follow the ways of God. In this particular incident, Ahab wanted to go to war against Ramoth Gilead, a city that was under the control of the Syrians. Ahab sought the assistance of Jehoshaphat, the righteous king of Judah, to join him in this battle.
A primary takeaway from this chapter is that when people of the world don't like what God has to say, they tend to surround themselves with others who will tell them what they want to hear instead. Ahab exemplifies this behavior by gathering four hundred prophets who would provide him with a favorable message about the outcome of the battle. These prophets were not prophets of God but were known to be false prophets who would speak according to Ahab's desires.
Ahab's actions reveal that he had no problem seeking advisors who would offer an alternative viewpoint that aligned with his own desires instead of seeking God's guidance. Unfortunately, this behavior is reflective of human nature. When people are confronted with messages or teachings from God that challenge their personal preferences or convictions, they may be tempted to surround themselves with individuals who share the same perspective. Rather than reconsidering their views in light of God's truth, they seek affirmation from others who will support their position.
It is common for people to resist or reject God's truth when it conflicts with their own desires or beliefs. Instead of allowing their views to be transformed, they seek validation from like-minded individuals who will reinforce their existing opinions. This tendency is prevalent in various aspects of life. For example, entire branches of "science" such as evolution and psychology have been devised to provide alternative explanations or interpretations that cater to people's preferences. These frameworks may offer temporary satisfaction by finding company in those who share similar opinions, but they do not alter the reality of who God is, what He desires, or the fact that everyone will ultimately be judged according to God's standards, not their own.
People frequently engage in such practices to find solace in the company of those who echo their views, creating an environment where they can evade the challenges posed by God's truth. However, this approach ultimately proves to be unfruitful. It may provide temporary comfort by surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals, but it does not change the fundamental truth of God's word or the ultimate consequences of disregarding His commands. In the end, all individuals will be held accountable before God based on His standard, regardless of the opinions or support they may have gained from others who share their perspective.
In summary, 2 Chronicles 18 illustrates the tendency of people to surround themselves with individuals who will affirm their own desires and opinions, even when those views are contrary to God's truth. This behavior, demonstrated by Ahab's actions, is a reflection of human nature. While seeking validation from others who share our perspectives may provide temporary satisfaction, it does not alter the unchanging nature of God, His desires, or the ultimate accountability we have before Him.