Read II Chronicles 21 - 24
In Today's Reading:
Jehoram's, Ahaziah's and Athaliah's reigns; prophecy of Elijah; Joash becomes king and repairs the Temple; the nation turns to idolatry
During most of Jehoshaphat's reign, he maintained friendly relations with Ahab, the idol-worshiping king of the northern kingdom. His son's marriage to Ahab's daughter resulted in a heritage of wicked leadership for Judah. Jehoshaphat's life should serve as a warning to those today who say: "I know God said we should not have close relationships with unsaved people, but I don't let them affect me." However, Jehoshaphat not only brought the wrath of God upon himself, but he also was unable to control the way it affected his sons and his grandchildren.
After the death of Jehoshaphat, his son Jehoram took control of the kingdom. He proceeded to destroy all the godly influence of his father's reign. He also slew all his brethren with the sword. . . . And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel . . . for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought (did) that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD. . . . Moreover he . . . caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled (led) Judah thereto (II Chronicles 21:4,6,11).
Although the prophet Elijah lived in the northern kingdom, he sent a letter to the ungodly Jehoram, king of the southern kingdom, and rebuked his evils, saying: Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father . . . But have walked in the way of the kings of Israel . . . Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite your people, and your children, and your wives . . . And you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels . . . after the end of two years . . . he died (21:12-19).
Godly Jehoshaphat could not have anticipated the tragic consequences that resulted from his friendship with Ahab and his son's marriage to an unbeliever. Some Christian parents' hearts have been broken as a result of permitting a son or daughter to date an unsaved person who seems so desirable in many other ways. Every Christian young man and woman should recognize why there are strong warnings against dating the unsaved. Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean (unfit) thing; and I will receive you (II Corinthians 6:17).
By Jehoiada, the high priest, who faithfully hid and protected Joash (II Chronicles 23:1-11). Jesus is our High Priest (Hebrews 5:5-10); we are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
21:9 compassed him in = surrounded him; 21:19 of sore diseases = in severe suffering; no burning for him = no public fire to honor him; 22:2 daughter = granddaughter; 22:10 seed royal = royal family of the house of David; 23:9 bucklers = small shields; 23:14 Have her forth of the ranges = take her outside under guard; 24:13 in his state = in its original condition; 24:25 in great diseases = intense suffering.
Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (CT) · Country: Chad (7 million) in north-central Africa · Major languages: French and Arabic · Limited religious freedom · 35% Muslim; 31% animist; 11% Protestant; 5% Roman Catholic
Prayer Suggestion: Unite with others in prayer; God will bring your request to pass (Matthew 18:19-20).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 14
Memory Verse for the Week: John 10:27