Read 1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18-20
Ahab dies in battle even though he is disguised he is hit at random and bleeds out. Jehoshaphat is a close witnesses the power of God to perform his word. Shortly after God begins to deal with him.
“Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.’ 2 Chronicles 19:2
Plainly what stands out to me like neon is wickedness and evil should be appalling. Proverbs 17:5 and more directly in Luke 11:35 we are warned, Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness. The exhortation to be careful means that it is possible to be deceived. This reminds me of the deceiving prophets that had brought about confidence in an enticement for Ahab to go to battle. Seek the LORD AND do not support darkness nor make alliances to serve self-interest.
Jehoshaphat responds by going out again among the people and turning them back to the LORD, the God of their ancestors. HE appoints judges saying, “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 19:9
War comes against the nation. In his alarm Jehoshaphat proclaims a fast, and the people of Judah all come together to seek help from the LORD; Jehoshaphat’s opening line in prayer is similar to Jesus teaching on prayer.
“Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 2 Chronicles 20:6
This is very similar to ‘our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name and thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ :))
Lord God who forms nations and topples the proud, we seek your absolute mercy and rule in our nation. We don’t want our will but yours. And we pray it would be evident and powerful. Let no scheme of man, subvert the generations from salvation and revival. Amen.
Let another Jehoshaphat arise to lead the nations back to you. Lord GOD even in Boston they have this motto: “SICUT PATRIBUS, SIT DEUS NOBIS” which means, “God be with us as he was with our fathers”.
Returning the peoples hearts to faith was accompanied by worship and praise! “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.””
2 Chronicles 20:18-21 NIV
Lastly Jehoshaphat‘s reign shows us that a leader of prayer led to an army of praise and wow wow wow some incredible victories.
Todays reading reminds me of how important high quality leadership is. We see so many kings fall away from God and in turn lead the nation away from God and into sin. But with a leader like Jehoshaphat so much of that’s changed. He cleaned house of idols and the entire nation sought God in prayer before their battle! It’s such a big shift.
I think it’s important to think about who we have influence over and let that challenge you to walk carefully and closely to God.
“and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.””
2 Chronicles 19:6-7 ESV
Lord we pray over our legal system, that they would follow your ways and serve you, amen.