Jehoshaphat: Success in Two Simple Steps — Post by Mary C. Findley

View of Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehoshaphat by Auguste Forbin,  Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

View of Jerusalem from the Valley of Jehoshaphat by Auguste Forbin, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

After this, King Jehoshaphat of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, where Hanani’s son Jehu, the seer, went out to meet him. He asked king Jehoshaphat, “Should you be helping those who are wicked, yes or no? Should you love those who hate the LORD? Wrath is headed your way directly from the LORD because of this.  Nevertheless, a few good things have been found in you, in that you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have disciplined yourself to seek God.” Jehoshaphat continued to live in Jerusalem, but he travelled again throughout the people from Beer-sheba to Mount Ephraim, bringing them back to the LORD God of their ancestors and appointing judges throughout the land in all of the walled cities of Judah, city by city. He issued this reminder to the judges: “Pay careful attention to your duties, because you are judging not only for the sake of human beings but also for the LORD—and he is present with you as you make your rulings. So let the fear of the LORD rest upon you, be on your guard, and act carefully, because with the LORD our God there is neither injustice, nor partiality, nor bribery.”  (2 Chronicles 19:1-7, ISV)

The context of these verses is the time following Jehoshaphat’s alliance with King Ahab. Ahab was, by and large, a wicked king. Jehoshaphat was, by and large, a good king. Jehoshaphat almost got himself killed for that alliance. God reminded him of the dangers of hanging out with bad guys. Today many voices clamor that America was, by and large, a good nation, but now we have been “helping the wicked” and loving “those who hate the Lord.” Wrath is headed our way as surely as it was for Jehoshaphat.

Many men in the past have gotten angry when the Lord sent a warning. Ever since the time of Cain men have been lashing out when God corrected them. But look what Jehoshaphat did in response. He traveled again throughout the people from Beer-sheba to Mount Ephraim, bringing them back to the LORD God of their ancestors. He also appointed judges, since he couldn’t be everywhere and do everything himself, and he told them, “Pay careful attention to your duties, because you are judging not only for the sake of human beings but also for the LORD—and he is present with you as you make your rulings. So let the fear of the LORD rest upon you, be on your guard, and act carefully, because with the LORD our God there is neither injustice, nor partiality, nor bribery.” 

Look again at his admonition to the judges. What causes men to be unjust, partial, or to take bribes? Selfishness, in a nutshell. What is selfishness? It’s the worship of self. So here’s something you can take away from the story of this good king.  Don’t be selfish, and remember God’s right there watching.

Jehoshaphat earned a commendation from God. The prophet who reprimanded him said, “A few good things have been found in you, in that you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have disciplined yourself to seek God.”

So, the secret to Jehoshaphat’s success was a simple, two-part formula. 1. Get rid of the idols. 2. Discipline yourself to seek the Lord. Neither one of these is easy. But both of them are  simple.

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Politics

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