May 26

Read 2 Chronicles 18 -- 20

In Today's Reading:

Jehoshaphat had riches in abundance and allied himself with Ahab; Ahab's false prophets; Micaiah's true prophecy; defeat of Jehoshaphat; death of Ahab; Jehu rebukes Jehoshaphat; Jehoshaphat's national reformation and victories over Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir; death of Jehoshaphat.

Verse for Today:

O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee (2 Chronicles 20:12).

Jehoshaphat the son of Asa was one of the most godly kings in the history of Judah. He was wonderfully blessed because of his dedication to the Lord. He appointed Levites to go throughout the country reading and instructing people in the Law of God. He forced the Baal and Ashtaroth cult followers, as well as the male prostitutes (homosexuals), out of his country (2 Chronicles 17:3-9). We also read that the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat (17:10). Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and joined affinity (made a marriage alliance) with Ahab. And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria (18:1-2).

Jehoshaphat made a serious mistake when he associated himself with Ahab, the idol-worshiping king of the Northern Kingdom, even though it seemed "open-minded" for him to be friendly to Ahab. Their friendship had led to the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram to Ahab's daughter Athaliah (21:1,6). After this, Jehoshaphat visited Ahab, who prepared a great feast for Jehoshaphat. Can you imagine godly Jehoshaphat feasting with Ahab and Jezebel, his Baal-worshiping wife, in Ahab's palace? Ahab then asked Jehoshaphat to join him in a battle to regain his border city of Ramoth-gilead from Syria (18:3).

A fearless prophet named Micaiah boldly foretold that Ahab would not return alive from the proposed war (18:4,13,16). After the prophet's warning, Jehoshaphat foolishly joined with Ahab, possibly thinking that because of his taking part, God would give victory. But, Jehoshaphat was attacked by the Syrians and he cried out (in prayer), and the Lord helped him (18:31). When Jehoshaphat . . . returned to his house in peace (19:1), God sent the prophet Jehu, not to congratulate the king on his safe return, but to rebuke him. Jehu . . . said to King Jehoshaphat, [Should you] help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore [wrath is] upon [you] from . . . the Lord. However the prophet also said: Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heard to seek God (19:2-3).

But the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram to the daughter of Ahab eventually opened the door to Baal worship in the Kingdom of Judah. Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram turned out to be as evil as his wife Athaliah. This marriage eventually led Athaliah to massacre all of Jehoshaphat's sons and royal descendants except for one-year-old Jehoash (Joash) who was hidden by his aunt and uncle, the high priest Jehoiada (22:10-12).

No Christian man or woman is ever justified in dating an unsaved person. Regardless of how "good" the unsaved person may seem or how "sure" the Christian is that deeper involvement will not occur, all who do so are reminded that whoever . . . will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4).

Christ Portrayed:

By Micaiah, who told the truth even though it was unpopular with his listeners (2 Chronicles 18:12-27). We are reminded of Christ when He spoke the unpopular truth to the Pharisees (Matthew 12:1-14; John 8:40).

Word Studies:

18:1 joined affinity = allied himself by the marriage of his son to Ahab's daughter; 18:9 a void place = a threshing floor; 18:15 adjure = put you on oath; 18:33 harness = armor; at a venture = without thought of its direction; 19:8 set = appoint; 20:17 set = position.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Gov. Paul Patton (KY) and Rep. Janice Schakowsky (IL) · Pray for the President · Country: Gambia (1 million) in West Africa · Major languages: English and Mandinka · Religious freedom · 87% Muslim; 10% animism and ancestral spirit worship; 2% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray daily to your Father in Heaven (Daniel 6:10).

Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9