A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
The story of Jehoshaphat occupies about twice as much space
in Chronicles as in Kings. This may be because the Chronicler uses this particular king of Judah to show how God immediately addresses both faithfulness and evil in the lives of His people.
Jehoshaphat was allied to king Ahab by marriage
, and was therefore asked by the king of Israel to support him in his proposed war against Ramoth Gilead. The Judean king is willing to help, but reluctant to do so without support from God, so the two agree to consult Micaiah, the prophet. The amazing fact is that even though this prophet told both kings God would not be with them, they went into battle anyway!
Jehohaphat may have been a little simple in some regards
for Ahab convinces him to go into battle in his royal robes while Ahab is in disguise. When he is recognized and attacked by the king of Aram, Jehoshaphat cries out
to the LORD, and God protects him. In fulfillment of Micaiah's prophesy, Ahab is killed
and Jehoshaphat spared. However, upon his return to Jerusalem (his capitol), Jehoshaphat is immediately confronted by God=s prophet, Jehu, who pronounces God's judgement against him, and shares the reason it will not be carried out: the king has been faithful to rid the land of pagan worship.
In order to relieve himself and better service his people
, Jehoshaphat establishes judges in each of the major cities of his kingdom (in Jerusalem these are Levites). All are charged to execute justice faithfully and wholeheartedly and warned that any breach will bring God's judgment down on them.
Have you ever been influenced by the wrong person or group?
So many times we encounter people whose interests are not God's and, therefore, should not be ours either. Yet the reasons are often persuasive (from a self-centered point of view), and the pressure can be intense (as in the case of a relative or person to whom we owe a favor). Jehoshaphat put his own life in jeopardy by giving into Ahab's pressure. We always put ourselves in jeopardy when we listen to the wrong people.
Today ask God to help you identify any person or group of people who influence you in the wrong ways. Ask God to give you the courage to say No
when it is desirable, and the strength to walk away
when it is necessary. God wants only the best in our lives. He does not always change the character of the people or problems around us in order to make our lives better, but He always does show us the best way available.
Make up your mind
that you are going to spend more time talking with God in prayer today, and then pray about it!
A. Eugene Pearson 2011