Read II Chronicles 18 -- 20
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 (II 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 (a military 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 led to the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram to Ahab's daughter Athaliah (21:1,6). Ahab invited Jehoshaphat for a great feast. 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).
Following Jehoshaphat's request for a word from God, a fearless prophet named Micaiah was brought before them and boldly foretold that Ahab would not return alive from that war (18:4,13,16). In spite of the prophet's warning, Jehoshaphat joined Ahab and almost lost his life. When surrounded by the Syrians, Jehoshaphat 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 . . . who hate the Lord? therefore wrath is upon you from the Lord (19:2).
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 led to Athaliah's massacre of 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 or having a close relationship with an unsaved person. Regardless of how "good" the unsaved person may seem or how "sure" the Christian is that further 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).
The critics of Jesus said that He associated with publicans and sinners, but He did not choose them to be His companions or participate in their worldly activities. Why risk missing God's best for your life?
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? (II Corinthians 6:14).
Christ Portrayed: By Micaiah, who told the truth even though it was unpopular with his listeners (II Chronicles 18:12-27). We are reminded of Christ when He spoke the unpopular truth to the Pharisees (Matt. 12:1-14).
Word Studies: 18:1 joined affinity means allied himself by the marriage of his son to Ahab's daughter; 18:15 adjure means put you on oath; 18:33 harness means armor.
Government Officials: Gov. Paul Patton (KY) and Rep. Janice Schakowsky (IL) · Pray for World Missionary Press · Country: Jamaica (3 million) in the West Indies · Major languages: English and Creole · Religious freedom · 78% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 7% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: Amidst uncertainty, seek the guidance of God (Isaiah 42:16).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 13
Memory Verse for the Week: I Timothy 2:8