Read II Chronicles 21 -- 24
During most of Jehoshaphat's reign, he maintained friendly relations with Ahab, the idol-worshiping king of the Northern Kingdom. Though it may not have affected him personally, his son's marriage to Ahab's daughter resulted in a heritage of wicked leadership. 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 am very careful not to let them affect me." However, Jehoshaphat could not control the way it affected his sons and his grandchildren.
After the death of Jehoshaphat, his son Jehoram began to reign. The moment Jehoram took control of the Kingdom, he proceeded to destroy all the godly influence of his father's reign. He . . . slew all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. . . . He had the daughter of Ahab to wife (II Chronicles 21:4,6). Undoubtedly, with her encouragement, Jehoram established the evil religious idols of his wife's mother Jezebel. Jehoram built altars to Baal and Ashtaroth with their evil, obscene male prostitutes and compelled (21:11) Judah, his Kingdom to do wickedly.
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: Thus says the Lord God of David . . . 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 the Lord will smite your people, and your children, and your wives. . . . You shall have great sickness. . . . And . . . after the end of two years . . . he died (21:12-19).
Jehoram's youngest son Ahaziah reigned in Jerusalem. He was a mere puppet of Athaliah, the Queen Mother, during his short, one-year reign (22:2). During that time, Ahab's son, also named Jehoram (Joram), was wounded in battle with the Syrian king (22:5). Ahaziah went to see his uncle Jehoram who was recovering from his wounds in Jezreel (22:7-8). Both kings were slain by Jehu, the commander of the Northern Kingdom's army (II Kings 9:1-6,24,27). Athaliah then seized the throne and proclaimed herself queen of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. To secure her position, she murdered all her grandchildren, except one-year-old Joash, the sole link that preserved the dynasty of David and the very lineage of Jesus Christ (II Chronicles 22:10-12). Jehoshabeath had hidden her infant nephew Joash from Athaliah's wholesale assassination. God has the last word on the affairs of earth. He doeth according to His will . . . among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand (Daniel 4:35). In addition to this, the sons of Athaliah . . . had broken up the House of God . . . the dedicated things of the House of the Lord they bestowed upon Baalim (II Chronicles 24:7).
Little could godly Jehoshaphat realize the tragic consequences that resulted from his friendship with Ahab that led to 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 ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (II Corinthians 6:17).
Christ Portrayed: 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 hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
Word Studies: 21:19 of sore diseases means in severe suffering; no burning for him means no public fire to honor him; 22:10 seed royal means royal family of the house of David.
Government Officials: Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (CT) · BPM Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KXEN-AM, Mitchell, IL · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Tim Peterson · Country: Japan (126 million) off the eastern coast of Asia · Major language: Japanese · Religious freedom · 57% Buddhist; 27% Shintoist and other Eastern religions; 3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in prayer, turn from your sinful ways, and God will have mercy and pardon for you (Isaiah 55:6-7).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 14
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 6:17