May 26

 

Read II Chronicles 18 -- 20

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab; death of Ahab; Jehoshaphat's national reformation; death of Jehoshaphat

 

Jehoshaphat was one of the most godly kings in the history of Judah. He appointed Levites throughout the country to read and instruct people in the Law of God (see II Chronicles 17:3-9). He forced the Baal and Ashtoreth cult followers, as well as the male cult prostitutes (homosexuals), out of his country (see I Kings 22:46).

 

However, Jehoshaphat made a serious mistake when he associated with Ahab, the Baal-worshiping king of the northern kingdom. Their friendship led to the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram to Ahab's daughter Athaliah (see II Chronicles 18:1; 21:1,6). Godly Jehoshaphat also made a serious mistake when he accepted an invitation to a feast with Ahab and Jezebel at which Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in a battle with Syria to regain his border city of Ramoth-gilead (see 18:3).

 

Following Jehoshaphat's request for a word from God about the coming war, a fearless prophet named Micaiah boldly foretold that Ahab would not return alive from that war (18:4,13,16). In disregard of the prophet's warning, Jehoshaphat joined Ahab and almost lost his own life. When surrounded by Syrians, Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him (18:31). Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem (19:1). Then God sent the prophet Jehu to rebuke him: Should you help the ungodly, and love them that hate (despise) the LORD? therefore is wrath upon you from . . . the LORD (19:2).

 

After the death of Jehoshaphat, the marriage of Jehoram to Athaliah led to Baal worship. After Jehoram was killed, Athaliah massacred all of Jehoshaphat's sons and grandsons, except for one-year-old Jehoash who was hidden by the high priest Jehoida (see 22:10-22).

 

All of our relationships should be guided by the Scriptures: Be . . . not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? . . . come out from among them, and be . . . separate, says the Lord (II Corinthians 6:14,17). And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).

 

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. Jesus responded to them: Now you seek to kill Me, a Man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God (John 8:40,45).

 

Word Studies:

 

18:1 joined affinity = allied himself by the marriage of his son to Ahab's daughter; 18:9 a void place = an open area; 18:15 adjure = put you under oath; 18:33 at a venture = randomly; harness = armor; 19:8 set = appoint; 20:17 set = position.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BPM Staff: Ilene Wallace · Government Official: Rep. Janice Schakowsky (IL) · Country: Austria (8 million) in central Europe · Major language: German · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for a spirit of humility and submission before the Lord (John 3:30-31).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 13

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 4:3