Highlights In Today's Reading:
King Jehoshaphat relies on God, but his dealings with wicked Ahab and later Ahaziah, lead to some serious mistakes. We see the Lord displeased with him more than once. Jehoshaphat does seek God's prophets for truth. And, even though he errs, God honors Jehoshaphat's prayers. Note how bad choices can have lasting harmful consequences.
Surrounded by vast armies of enemy nations, the people of Judah hastened to Jerusalem, bowed before God, confessed their sins, and prayed earnestly for God to protect them. They placed their confidence in God when the prophet Jahaziel said: Be not afraid . . . for the battle is not yours, but God's. . . . Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established (20:15,20). Then they began to sing and to praise the Lord.
Victory is always sure to those who trust in Him. When difficulties mount, misunderstandings arise, or situations you can neither deal with nor escape threaten you, that is when you need to trust in the True Source of strength.
An important principle in praising God is to take your eyes off the alarming predicament and put them on Him as you pray unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:14,16).
Jehoshaphat was one of the most godly kings in the 500-year history of Judah. He appointed Levites throughout the country to read and instruct people in the Law of God. He forced the Baal and Ashtoreth cult followers, as well as the male cult prostitutes (homosexuals), out of the Kingdom of Judah (I Kings 22:46; II Chronicles 17:3-9).
Jehoshaphat made a serious mistake when he associated with Ahab, the Baal-worshiping king of the Northern Kingdom.
The marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram to Athaliah (18:1; 21:1,6), the daughter of Jezebel, opened the door to Baal worship in Judah and the eventual massacre of all of Jehoshaphat's sons and grandsons, except for one-year-old Jehoash (Joash) who was hidden by the high priest Jehoiada for six years (22:10-12).
All of our relationships should be guided by the Scriptures: Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? . . . Come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord (II Corinthians 6:14,17). And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. . . . Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:11,16).
Thought for Today:
All too often our children are affected by our disobedience to God's Word. That's why we must teach them His Word and own up to our failures.
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 (Matthew 12:1-14). Jesus responded: Now ye seek to kill Me, a Man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God (John 8:40).
18:1 joined affinity =b> allied himself by the marriage of his son to Ahab's daughter; 18:9 a void place =b> an open area; 18:15 adjure =b> put you under oath; 18:33 at a venture =b> randomly; harness =b> armor; 19:8 set =b> appoint; 20:17 set =b> position.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dorothy W. Ralston • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Official: Rep. Janice Schakowsky (IL) • Country: Romania (22.5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Rumanian and Hungarian • Freedom of worship • 69.5% Romanian Orthodox Church; 14% non-Religious/Other; 8% Protestant; 7% Catholic; 1% Muslim; .1% Jewish; .4% Marginal • Prayer Suggestion: Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything (Philippians 4:6).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 13
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 2:2