Judah’s King Jehoshaphat
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 17:1-19, 2 Chronicles 18:1-34, Psalm 33:16-22
During a middle school slumber party, my friends and I were giggling and talking when the conversation took a dip. The girls from my school began to talk about another girl who wasn’t at the party. I could tell the tone and the laughter had shifted, and one of my Christian friends boldly stood up and said, “Hey, we aren’t going to gossip. It isn’t right. Now, let’s go upstairs and get ice cream.” The room was quiet, and then each girl bounced upstairs one by one and took their cue to quit the mean talk.
My friend modeled following God’s good ways instead of culture’s norms. In any other situation, middle school girls talking behind their friend’s backs is completely acceptable. But my friend knew God was not pleased and stood up for what was right. It left an impression on me.
Reading about how King Jehoshaphat starts out in today’s story leaves a similar impression.
He did not seek the Baals but sought the God of his father and walked by his commands, not according to the practices of Israel.—2 Chronicles 17:3–4
Despite the whole of his story, we do see a glimpse of character when Jehoshaphat meets King Ahab. King Ahab was arrogant and selfish. He wanted victory over Ramoth-Gilead and asked his ally Jehoshaphat to help him defeat them. But Jehoshaphat wanted to seek God’s counsel first. Ahab didn’t like what God said and moved forward to attack.
But look, the LORD keeps his eye on those who fear him—those who depend on his faithful love to rescue them from death….We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield.—Psalm 33:18–20
Living counter-culturally takes trust in the Lord over seeking the approval of people. I struggle with being bombarded with messages from the world, and it’s hard not to replace truth with a commercialized version of “the good life.” I want neighbors to like me and co-workers to respect me, but at what cost? I felt convicted reading this, and maybe you do too. I pray we turn to God and confess that we want to fear Him and obey Him—even when we may lose the world, we can find life in Him.