Highlights In Today's Reading:
Our lesson is "never forget to trust the Lord." Jehoshaphat appealed to the people to return to God (19:4). He warned the judges and priests (19:5-6,9-10) to make judgments that please God. But, he decided to join with the idol-worshiping kings Ahab (18:1-3) and Ahaziah (20:35-37).
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 (17:3-5). He appointed Levites who went throughout the country reading and instructing people in the Law of God (17:7-9). He forced the vile Baal cult and Ashtaroth devotees as well as the male prostitutes (homosexuals) out of his country (17:3-9). But we also read that Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria (18:1-2).
Jehoshaphat made a serious mistake when he associated with Ahab, the idol-worshiping king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. However, some today would consider this as wise political strategy. At the time, it seemed open-minded and expedient for Jehoshaphat to be friendly to King Ahab.
Ahab invited Jehoshaphat for a feast (18:2). Can you imagine Ahab and his wicked Baal-worshiping wife Jezebel feasting together on terms of friendship with the godly Jehoshaphat? Their friendship also led to the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram (Ahaziah) to Ahab's daughter Athaliah that eventually opened the door to Baal worship in the Kingdom of Judah (21:1,6). Ahab then asked Jehoshaphat to join him in a battle to regain his northeast border city of Ramoth-gilead from Syria to which he agreed (18:3).
When Jehoshaphat was surrounded in battle by the Syrians, he cried out to the Lord in prayer, and the Lord helped him (18:31). Later, as 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, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? there is wrath upon thee from before the Lord (19:2).
After Ahaziah was killed by Jehu (II Kin. 9:27), Athaliah massacred all the seed royal except for young Jehoash (Joash) (II Kin. 11:1-3).
The principles of God never change. Christians are never justified in dating or having close associations with an unsaved person, regardless of how good the unsaved person may seem. The New Testament provides no exceptions to the rule. All who do so should be reminded that whosoever . . . will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4).
Be . . . not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? . . . Wherefore come out from among them (II Cor. 6:14,17).
Thought for Today:
A saved person should be kind to the lost, but we can have no true fellowship with nonbelievers (II Cor. 6:14).
By Micaiah, who told the truth even though it was unpopular with his listeners (II Chr. 18:12-27). We are reminded of Christ when He spoke the unpopular truth to the Pharisees (Matt. 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 near the city entrance; 18:15 adjure =b> command under oath; 18:33 at a venture =b> randomly without aim; harness =b> armor.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week in honor of Jesus Christ • Staff: George Kopchak • Government Officials: Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) and Rep. Janice Schakowsky (IL) • Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48.1 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages • Limited religious freedom • 87.5% Buddhist; 6% Christian; 4% Muslim (mainly Sunni); 1% animist; .5% Hindu; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for the spiritual rest that is in Him (Heb. 4:9-10).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:32