Are You in Disguise

Are You in Disguise

The book of 1 Kings is amazing! It begins with David, Israel’s second and greatest king, still on the throne. Continuing on, we read about King Solomon’s rule, the building of the God’s Temple in Jerusalem, the division of Israel into two kingdoms (Israel – The Northern Kingdom and Judah – The Southern Kingdom), the evil kings of Israel, the evil and a few good kings of Judah, most of Elijah’s ministry, the selection of Elisha as the prophet to succeed Elijah,  and so much more.

In chapter 22, the last chapter of 1 Kings, we read about the death of Ahab (Israel’s most evil king). The chapter begins with Ahab asking Jehoshaphat (one of the few God fearing kings of Judah) to join him in battling Syria. Unfortunately, even with a warning from a true prophet of God named Micaiah, Jehoshaphat decides to join Ahab in this battle.


Putting on a Disguise
  • 1 Kings 22:29-30 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

Going into battle against Syria, Ahab feared that if he wore his kingly robes he would become a more easily identified target for the enemy. So he disguised himself thinking he would avoid the hazards associated with his true identity. Do you ever disguise yourself? I’m not talking about putting on a mask or wig or makeup to hide your identity. Perhaps you fake a smile when you are angry, make small talk with someone because you are supposed to be nice, or even say a halfhearted prayer to God out of obligation or desperation. Also, did you notice that as he put on his disguise and blended in with the other soldiers, Ahab showed no regard for Jehoshaphat’s safety?


The World is Often Deceived
  • 1 Kings 22:31-32 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel!” Therefore they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out.

Ben-Hadad (the king of Syria) was out to kill Ahab and ordered his troops to focus the battle on the King of Israel. The troops dutifully obeyed; yet they mistakenly thought that Jehoshaphat was Ahab. Our disguises can fool a lot of people. And unfortunately, sometimes those around us get hurt when we pretend to be someone or something we aren’t. Thankfully Jehoshaphat cried out to God and was spared (see 2 Chronicles 18:31).

As Abraham Lincoln said:
  • ‘You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.’

God is Never Deceived
  • 1 Kings 22:34 Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”
  • 1 Kings 22:37-38 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria. 38 Then someone washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood while the harlots bathed, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken.
    • See God’s warning to Ahab through Elijah in 1 Kings 21:17-19.

In His sovereign reign over all things, God used the ‘random’ shot of a Syrian archer to accomplish His purpose (the death of Ahab – you will have to read more about Ahab’s reign as an evil king to understand why). God is never fooled. He sees through every disguise. In the Bible, He has warned us about the dangerous consequences of our sin/disguises/hypocrisy.

As God said through King David:
  • Psalm 139:1-4 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

Are you in disguise? Do you think you’ve been successful at avoiding the hazards of being a Christian? Has your disguise led to others being hurt? God knows your every action, your deepest thoughts, and the path that lies before you.

Tear off your disguise and humble yourself before God or the archer may release his arrow.

Prayer

Loving Father, I beg You to forgive me for the times I have used a smile and a kind word to disguise my anger, my judgmental nature, my pride, my sin. I confess the times I have used silence or concurrence to disguise my identity in Christ. Salvation in Christ and Your expectations of me have made holiness, righteousness and an eternally bright future in heaven a reality in my life. Please accept all my disguises as a burnt offering for Your honor. May Your Holy Spirit empower me to not wear disguises in the future. I pray in the name of my beloved Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.