2 Chronicles 17

2 Chronicles 17 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence

Similar to his father Asa, Jehoshaphat had a very strong beginning as king over Judah. He walked in the commandments of God and in the ways of King David shunning any aspect of Baal worship. And for this, the chronicler says in v.6 that “his heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord.” But why would it take courage to walk in God’s ways as a king? Mainly because there would always be many other powerful figures in the land who did not walk in such a way and who would either counsel him otherwise or else stand in direct opposition to the ways of the Lord. One of the things that Jehoshaphat does initially is to remove the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. But didn’t his father Asa already do that? He did, but then someone took the initiative to rebuild them all over again. Idol worship is very similar to the drug war in Colombia. For every cartel that is driven out of business, there is another group of unsavory men who are more than eager to take their place, so every succeeding president faces the challenge of whether he will stand up to the cartels and face their wrath or else join hands with them in their evil deeds. The kings of Judah would all fear someone, either the Lord of men, and in this case, Jehoshaphat feared the Lord.

One of the most effective measures taken in his early reign was to promote the teaching of God’s Law throughout the land, so he sent his princes to accompany the priests and Levites to show the royal expectation that as for the king and his kingdom they would serve the Lord and not some other god. And it seems that this was a great boon to kingdom. Not only did the Lord give the kingdom peace as a result but the fear of the Lord fell upon all the surrounding nations so that no one made war against Judah. Many of those nations even brought great gifts of tribute to the king and his kingdom as a result. Thus, instead of stripping the gold of the temple to pay off foreign invaders as his father Asa had done in fear, Jehoshaphat is receiving gold and silver from foreign nations with thanksgiving.

That doesn’t mean that Jehoshaphat did nothing to prepare for war or the threat of invasion. He still fortified many of the cities in Judah and raised up an army to defend the land. But his primary defense was his trust in the Lord, which was better than all his arms and all his horses and chariots. Of course, in the next few days, we’ll see something of Jehoshaphat’s weakness that will continue to prove that he too is not the expected Messiah, and God’s people would have to wait for another king to come, one who walks perfectly before the Lord and who continues to sit upon his throne eternally.

It would seem too good to be true for one of our own government leaders to walk with such courage before the Lord in this way, but this is the ongoing expectation placed upon every leader in the church and every leader in the home that they would not only walk in God’s ways themselves but also teach their people to do the same, courageously standing up against the idolatrous practices in each succeeding generation seeking the peace and purity of the Lord. But understanding that the circumstances can change at any time, they also are prepared for the day of battle when it comes, but always looking to the Lord to guide and to save.