I Kings 22:29-33 “So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle. But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel. And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.”
Jehoshaphat finds himself in dire straits; he has become the subject of a man hunt! There are thirty-two elite men that are in charge of all the chariots of the king of Syria and they have focused all their attention on the apprehension and death of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat’s problem is the result of mistaken identity. Jehoshaphat has been mistakenly identified for Ahab, the King of Israel. In order to grasp the truth that God is setting forth, it is imperative that one understands who Ahab is! Ahab is a man that abides under the divine condemnation of a Holy God that has chosen to use the nation of Syria as the rod of His wrath and Jehoshaphat is about to die for the sins of Ahab all because of a case of mistaken identity!
But, that’s what you can expect when you fellowship with the wrong crowd; “for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14). The two words “fellowship” and “communion” have the idea of a partnership in eating or drinking; the activities of social intercourse. When I Kings 22 opens, we have Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah coming down to visit Ahab, the King of Israel; “And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel” (vs.2 ). Why would Jehoshaphat, a man that knew the True and Living God come down to socialize with Ahab, a man that rejected the will and worship of Jehovah, the true God of Israel?
That’s what you can expect when you follow the wrong crowd; “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6:14). The natural order of progression is fellowship and then following! Jehoshaphat hadn’t been down there but a short while and Ahab said, “I want to declare war on Syria” and Jehoshaphat said, “I’m with you!” There had been three years of peace and prosperity and it’s all about to end because of the rash judgment of Ahab. Jehoshaphat followed Ahab into battle and he’s about to pay for it!
Thirty-two captains are leading an entire host of chariots and they are about to converge upon Jehoshaphat and administer God’s wrath. Jehoshaphat is about to die for the sins of another; all because of a case of mistaken indemnity. But, what can you expect when you fellowship with the wrong crowd and you follow the wrong crowd; you can expect to be punished with the wrong crowd! Jehoshaphat was about to get what Ahab deserved; all because of the crowd he fellowshipped with and the crowd he followed, but that’s what you can expect!