Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
This is a continuation of what you read in the May Messenger. To follow this story it is good to pretend you are sitting next to Kyle, in class, with a Bible open to I Kings 22:29 -53. Read the verses from your Bible when your pretend classmates are reading too.

The few minutes before the bell rang were refreshing. Kyle could play some softball. But now, back to the grindstone: stick your nose in a book and write things down. That is how he felt about school.

In front of the class he could see Mr. DenBoer. It was Bible class. "Now, Grade 5, turn to I Kings 22. Kyle flipped the pages.

"Can anyone tell me," Mr. Den Boer asked, " who was sent to prison for telling the truth?" Hands went up. "Gerald."

"Micaiah."

"Yes. And why was he a true soldier?"

Now was KyleÕs chance. From inside his desk, Kyle pulled out a white sheet of paper. He looked at Mr. DenBoer, appearing attentive.

"Kyle."

That startled him. Kyle thought fast. Flustered, his mind went blank. He didn't know the answer.

"Rebecca."

Kyle felt relieved and embarrassed at the same time.

Rebecca answered, "Micaiah was a true soldier because he said what God wanted him to say, not what other people liked."

So smart and so good, thought Kyle. Kyle took out his pencil to draw.

This time he was going to draw a Lockheed F-117A Stealth fighter. He'd been reading up on the Persian Gulf War. With its thirteen-metre wingspan and twenty-metre length, and its sleek shape, this fighter jet was awesome. Kyle began to draw.

And Christine began to read. She read 1 Kings 22: 29- 31: "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 battle. But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small or great, save only with the king of Israel."

Mr. Den Boer stood; his eyes looked straight at Kyle. "You know," he said, " I learned something 10 years ago." He paused. "When I watched one of the most successful wars in history, the Persian Gulf War, I learned a basic fact of human nature and God's plan. I watched a military spokesman show a video clipping of a truck drive over a bridge in Iraq. At the very split second that truck reached the other side, the bridge was bombed to smithereens!" Mr. DenBoer paused. "Then, the man looked at the audience, and said, 'This is the luckiest man I've seen in my life'. Everyone laughed."

"There was much boasting when the war was over, the Iraqi loss, the 'smart-bombs' that could hit with pin-point accuracy, the very few deaths on the victor's side. Oh, we can talk about whether it was a wrong or right war, but if we forget that behind every battle there is God allowing every move according to His will, according to His plan. We are blind and foolish. Kyle, can you read verses 32-35?Ó

Kyle read, "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."

"Stop," interrupted Mr. DenBoer. "Notice, 'And it came to pass' in verse 32; What do you notice in verse 33?"

Hands went up. Amanda answered, "It says 'And it came to pass."

"Right. Continue, Kyle."

Kyle read, " 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. And a certain man drew a bow at venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot." Kyle stopped reading and looked up.

"Tell me, Kyle what was God's will, saving Jehoshaphat's life or killing Ahab?"

" Saving Jehoshaphat's life."

"What was luck?"

"The man who shot the arrow that hit Ahab."

Mr. DenBoer smiled. "It sure seemed that way, didn't it? But when we read this story, we need to remember Micaiah's last word to Israel in verse 28. What did Micaiah say? He said, "If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you." Mr. DenBoer sighed, "That means us too. Read to end of the chapter, Amanda."

Amanda read. Mr. DenBoer wrote notes on the board and talked. The Stealth bomber took shape on Kyle's paper. Just then, a hand went on Kyle's shoulder. Kyle looked and jerked. His face grew red. "May I borrow your picture, Kyle?"

Surprised, Kyle said, "Sure."

Kyle watched his teacher use a magnet to put the picture on the board.

"This is a Stealth bomber used ten years ago in the Persian Gulf War," Mr. DenBoer explained. "It could bomb with great accuracy and not one was lost. Stealth means a secret or sly action. Ahab tried to use stealth against the Syrians, and like a fool, even against God. But his stealth failed. Jehoshaphat used no stealth, but when the Syrians were ready to shoot him short range to death, he cried out and God spared his life."

"Let's always remember from this story that a greater, more serious, battle is taking place, a battle against the forces of evil leashed out by Satan and his demons and against a crowd of people who rebel against their Creator and Lord. No, God hates war and loves peace. But while we live in these last days before Jesus' coming, there will be wars. Man will fight and brag and talk of military might. But God will have the final victory, and His soldiers, soldiers like Micaiah, will receive the reward of His victory. Then, there will be war no more. But until then... God's Word has spoken in this story to warn us that God is not mocked nor fooled by stealth."

Kyle looked at Mr. DenBoer and Mr. DenBoer at him. He noticed a smile on his teacher's face.

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