Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” 2 Chronicles 18:1-3
When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, 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 19:1-2
This is a difficult one, because we’re going to talk about relationships and/or situations in our lives that aren’t healthy for us.
As we have been discussing this week, Jehoshaphat’s alliance with King Ahab led to a potential disaster as they entered a battle that lacked God’s approval. There is danger of aligning ourselves with those who don’t share our values or beliefs, as it can lead us into very dangerous territory.
Has your “spider sense” ever gone off in relation to a particular person, situation or decision you’ve faced? A sense that “this doesn’t feel right” that comes to mind, sometimes something that you couldn’t even verbalize but feels “off”? That’s discernment kicking in. Discernment is both a specific spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:10) as well as a danger detector that God has given all of us.
It was a bad idea for Jehoshaphat to align himself with Ahab in war and risk not just his own life but the lives of everyone in the kingdom. By the time the reality of the situation kicked in, it was too late to change the momentum of the consequences without God’s miraculous intervention. Thank God for His miraculous intervention in our lives!
When Jehoshaphat heeded the words of the prophet Jehu, it brought him back to the right path. This teaches us to listen to discernment as well as to value and seek advice from Godly people.
Think of a time in your life when you didn’t listen to discernment or the advice of wise people in your life. How did God use that situation?
Thinking about these passages from 2 Chronicles, what advice would you give to someone facing a difficult situation?
Pray: “Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the relationships around me, and to Your presence in, and plan for, my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”