2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat who started well as a King, set up a system for administering justice in Judah by appointing judges in each fortified city to judge the people with fairness and equity, was a good king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (v32).
Jehoshaphat was a King who literally sang his way to victory over his enemies (v22), the vast army of Moab and Ammon by sending singers ahead of his army, with the help of the Lord.
Despite the above great deeds he did not finish well because of his unhealthy alliance with King Ahab of Israel and later with his son King Ahaziah, who were guilty of wickedness.
The Lord himself destroyed the fleet of trading ships built by him because of his bad alliance (v37).Had he not aligned with evil Ahaziah his ships would have sailed and trading would have flourished. Thus his legacy was a mixed legacy of some good and some bad things.
Do we have a legacy to leave behind?
Legacy is something a person leaves behind to be remembered for.
Any unique/good thing done beneficial to people during our life time with the help of God and good alliance will be our legacy which will stand the test of time to glorify God and make people remember us for the good work done.
When we leave a legacy that impacts many generations, the intent and content originate from God
Unlike Jehoshaphat let us leave a lasting legacy which is beneficial to people and God honouring by making sure that it is done the right way with the right intent and the right content
King Asa's son Jehoshaphat who succeeded him was generally a very good king. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps at the beginning of his reign and did not seek the Baals, 2 Chronicles 17:3.
So God blessed and prospered him richly! When a huge army came against him from the other side of the dead sea, Jehoshaphat acted wisely and cried out to the Lord for help instead of doing what he thought best, 2 Chronicles 20. He praised God for His strength, power and authority over all the inhabitants of the earth, vs 6, and for how God provided a land flowing with milk and honey for His people to live in according to His promise to Abraham, vs 7.
He reminded God of His promise to answer when His people were in trouble and sought Him with a whole heart, vs 9. He reminded God how their enemies were repaying them evil for good, and confessed their own lack of wisdom, strength, and ability to handle the matter, but looked to God in faith for justice against their opponents, vs10-12. This prayer of King Jehoshaphat, pleased God and brought a favorable answer from the Lord, assuring them of victory in the battle. However, the actual victory came, and the Lord fought for them, only when they began to shout and praise and thank God for His majestic splendor and loyal love, vs 21,22! This is one of the famous prayers recorded in Scripture and gives us understanding into how we can win various battles that we face by being still, worshipping God and looking to God in faith, while praising and thanking him and allowing Him to fight for us.
There was, however, one grave mistake that K.Jehoshaphat committed during his reign, and that being that he made an alliance by marriage with King Ahab on marrying his son to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, 2 Chronicles 18:1! Further, he even supported Ahab in a battle against the King of Syria, (inspite of prophet Micaiah giving them a prophetic word that they would be defeated) and almost lost his life as a result! Although God was very displeased with K. Jehoshaphat for these actions of his, yet God spared his life, and subsequently, rebuked him through a prophet, 2 Chronicles 19:2.
Nevertheless, the damage was done and his son Jehoram who replaced him as king, and who was married to Ahab's daughter was infected by the evil spirit that controlled Ahab and Jezebel! For, as soon as he became powerful, he murdered all his brothers, 2 Chronicles 21:4, and also encouraged the people Judah to be unfaithful to the Lord, vs 14. Even when rebuked by the Prophet Elijah, he did not repent and finally died a painful death by means of an incurable intestinal disease, vs 12-15.
Instead of repenting of his father's evil ways, his son Ahaziah followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty, for his mother gave him evil advice, 2 Chronicles 22:3! Once again history repeats itself and Ahaziah joins forces with Ahab’s son King Joram of Israel in a battle against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram, vs 5. Eventually Ahaziah is killed by Jehu when he went to visit Joram who was recovering from his wounds, vs 7-9! After his death, his mother Athaliah took over the reigns of the Kingdom and killed all his brothers except the one named Joash, whom his sister hid. He remained in hiding in God’s temple for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land, vs 10-12, until the time that Jehoiada the priest, tactfully got Joash crowned as king after having Queen Athaliah executed, 2 Chronicles 23: 15, 20!
Like K.Jehoshaphat, one can be good and do many wonderful works for the Lord, yet one small mistake can cause the generations after that to completely deviate from the right path, which can be corrected only if the persons concerned realise the mistake/s made by their forefathers and radically repents of the same. If not, the subsequent generations will have to be far more enlightened, honest and radical in order to correct this apostasy! Let us consider the way we are going and wholeheartedly seek to leave behind us a legacy that does not stumble those that come after us, but rather causes them to be blessed and encouraged to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to a higher level that we ourselves have attained!
Rowena Thomas, Mumbai, India.
2 Chronicles 21:12-15 in short...
Think about this...
What's a Prophet's job? And how about a priest?
We read here both positive and negative messages of hope and judgement pronounced by the prophets. The letter written by Prophet Elijah to King Jehoram highlights the principal role of the Hebrew prophet: to be God's voice, the one who speaks for God.?
Although many early figures mentioned in the Old Testament we read till now were called prophets, including Moses and the female prophet Deborah, the classical title of a prophet as NABI in Hebrew appeared later in Israelite history.
What used to be the primary function of a prophet? It was not to merely foretell the Israelites about their future, but to announce God's judgement; to confront those who violated God's law; to console those who suffered. In short, prophets were the CONSCIENCE of the Israelite nation. ✨
Ref. 1 Peter 2:9b you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.
We are all leaders, we are all chosen, we belong to His Royal Priesthood Class. Each of us have to bear a clear conscience. No escape from that.?
Though not a Roman Catholic, I hold the current Pope (Francis) in high value, because, unlike many earlier ones, he touches upon a common man's conscience and stand for what's right with God. I wish and pray that all our Christian leaders, including bishops, priests, pastors and all those who preach Christ, to maintain a clear conscience that's one with Christ's standards. A good leader is a good teacher. A good teacher walks that extra mile to create the best for a nation and its people. A real Christian ought to really live like one, irrespective of what happens around.
Let's pray that our leaders are always blessed with that special grace of God to carry to us only God's voice, instead of finding time to rebel, think evil, and do things that are not Biblical. A godly mother leads to godly children. A godly leader leads us to the arms of Christ's grace and mercy.
Who is on the Lord’s side?
Who will serve the King?
We are... just sojourners here.
Chosen to be soldiers,
in an alien land,
for our Captain’s band;
In the service royal,
let us not grow cold,
Let us be right loyal,
noble, true and bold.
Master, wilt Thou keep us,
by Thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side
—Saviour, always Thine!
Be blessed, to lead.
- Bob, Bangalore.
Two women who influenced the history of Israel in two different ways.
Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.
She was the grand daughter of Omri- the king of Judah, "who did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him" (1 Kings 16:25).
Athaliah personified all evil of her wicked parents and grandfather.
Athaliah married Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.
One of their sons was Ahaziah who ruled Judah for just a year.
Wounded in the battle by Jehu he died and his mother Athaliah came to the throne.
But when she came to power she destroyed the whole royal family of Judah.
This merciless, cruel hearted woman exterminated the last remnant of the house of David through which the promised Messiah was to come.
Behind this we can see the evil intention of the devil.
But God had sworn that there would never be lacking a man to sit on David's throne (2 Samuel 7:16).
Thus Joash escaped from being killed miraculously while much of Israel 's sorrow resulted from the evil woman Athaliah' s evil intention, how much do we owe to another godly woman!
She was Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and brother of Ahaziah.
She became the wife of high priest Jehoiada.
She was a courageous woman with a compassionate heart
She bravely defiled the order of Queen Athaliah and
Cared for little Joash for six years completely out witted by Athaliah.
Thus to Jehosheba goes credit of preserving the seed of Judah.
If Joash also had perished the line of Judah would have become extinct.
Dear friends, we learn two important things from this:
1. We reap what we sow. Athaliah had the guts to murder many lives mercilessly. In turn she herself was killed in a pathetic manner.
2. No one can thwart God's plan, His purposes and His promises.
God has absolute sovereignty. He is infinite in wisdom.
So neither persecutions nor or oppositions can destroy the true worship of God and His imperishable Word. Amen.
Manjula Premraj, Chennai
2 Chronicles 18 to 23