Summary: Kings of Judah, Pt. 3
ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY (2 CHRONICLES 17:1-19:11)
The week heading into my 45th birthday was a rich and sweet experience, in more ways than one. Four days before my birthday I was invited to an all-you-can-eat seafood and steak dinner. I ate four helpings, five pieces of chocolate for dessert and a full plate of pineapple. The next day I felt bad and headed to the gym early in the morning. At night, I had a birthday dinner with friends, ordering five dishes and a bowl of soup for a table of four.
On the eve of my birthday, I invited three college students for lunch to thank them for leading the VBS that had just concluded a day earlier at church. My wife suggested buffet would be great for hungry young people. That same night a family invited my wife and me for birthday dinner at their home and to meet their son who had just returned from China a day earlier.
On the morning of my birthday I had to attend a denomination district conference morning till noon, when the organizers announced free lunch for all at China Buffet. Amazing, I had three buffets in four days! On the night of my birthday my sister brought Chinese BBQ takeout to my home to celebrate my birthday. I grew older in my age and thicker at the waist that week. Buffet is the worst; each time I want to eat my money’s worth.
Compromise is succumbing, yielding and deferring to a weakness. It’s been said, “Compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.”
Compromises are a fact of life but make sure you know what things you can give in, who you can give in to and why you can’t give in thoughtlessly.
Jehoshaphat was a righteous king, not just a good king but an excellent king. He was godly, capable and determined; one of the best and brightest kings that ever lived. The king was strong in defense early in his reign but he opted for alliance with a wicked king later but sobered up knowing his mistake in the end. He was a naïve person, a man-pleaser and an easy prey that had to be bailed out by God in the end.
What is the result of compromising with sin? Why is confronting the problem better than compromising one’s character? How do we deal with our weaknesses?
GET YOUR POINT ACROSS
17:1 Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured. 3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals 4 but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. 5 The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. 6 His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. 7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. 8 With them were certain Levites-Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah-and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people. 10 The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat. (2 Chron 17:1-10)
When the English naturalist Charles Darwin was a boy, he collected beetles. One day he found a rare specimen but he didn’t have a container to hold it, so he held it in his fist. Then he saw a second beetle, picked it up and held it in his other fist. Then to his surprise, he spotted a third rare beetle. Quickly, he put one beetle in his mouth and grabbed the third specimen with his free hand. (
To defend itself, the beetle in Darwin’s mouth gave him a squirt of acid and Darwin went into a fit of coughing. When it was over he had lost all three beetles.
Multitasking or doing too many things at one time causes a person to get nothing and lose everything.
Jehoshaphat, the fourth king of Judah, was a powerful and godly king who did what was best for himself and his people, doing an excellent job with what he had, better than most kings. He held his own ground and kept Israel’s enemies away. Of all the southern kings, he found the right balance between political might ( 2) and spiritual devotion. He believed in divine intervention, but he also believed in military buildup. His biggest influence was his father, the good king Asa (v 4). They were the first father and son team in the southern kingdom that was unflinchingly on God’s side. His father shaped him most but, unlike his father who was stubborn in his old age (2 Chron 16:7-10), the son was teachable throughout his life. The son made a breakthrough and a name for himself in history, and his royal leadership was more impressive than his father’s.