Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Letter J!

J is for Jehoshaphat

“Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the ways of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight. During this reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people never fully committed themselves to following the God of their ancestors” 2 Chronicles 20: 32,33

In looking at my Who’s Who in the Bible book, I had so many good “J” words to chose from…so I was a bit surprised when I kept coming back to King Jehoshaphat. To be honest, I didn’t really know that much about him until this morning when I read his story in 2 Chronicles .

When Jehoshaphat first became King he turned to God for guidance and made the right choices. His dependence on God was consistent when in times of trouble or the “big” things. It was in depending on God for the day-to-day plans and actions that Jehoshaphat was weak.

Jehoshaphat’s strengths:
  • A bold follower of God
  • Carried out a national program of religious education
  • Had many military victories
  • Developed an extensive legal structure through the kingdom

Jehoshaphat’s weaknesses:

  •  Failed to recognize the long-term results of his decisions
  •  Did not completely destroy idolatry in the land
  •  Became entangled with evil king Ahab through alliances
  •  Allowed his son Jehoram to marry Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter
  •  Became Ahaziah’s business partner in an ill-fated shipping venture

 A few things I learned while reading about King Jehoshaphat:

I often repeat his error when I shove God to the background in the “easy” decisions of my life. Many times after I made my “easy” decisions, you will find me seeking the Lord, asking for His hand to help get me out of the mess I find myself in. I fail to remember that God wants me to give Him not only the major decisions, but also my day-to-day ones. My life goes much smoother when I pause long enough to give my day to Him.

In 2 Chronicles 18:3-8 the wicked King Ahab asked King Jehoshaphat to join forces with him in battle. Although King Jehoshaphat did seek God’s advice before making the commitment, he ignored the answer God gave through the prophet Micaiah. What a reminder for me that it does no good for me to pray for God’s guidance and direction, when I ignore the answer He gives. Once again I am reminded that real love for God is shown, not by simply asking for direction, but by following that direction once it is given.

Q. Did you read anything today that taught you a lesson?


1 comment:

Mary Aalgaard said...

Sounds like Jehoshaphat had much to teach AND learn. I can't help thinking of the expression: Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!