Summary: Kings of Judah, Pt. 4: "Jehoshaphat"
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 went to the gym early in the morning. At night, I had a birthday dinner with friends. We ordered five dishes and soup for a table of four.
On the eve of my birthday, I had 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 I for birthday dinner at their home and to meet their son who had just returned from China a day earlier.
On my birthday morning I had to attend a denomination district conference morning till noon, when the organizers announced free lunch at China Buffet for all. Amazing, I had three buffets in four days! On birthday night itself 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.
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 the 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.
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. 11 Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought him flocks: seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats. 12 Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah 13 and had large supplies in the towns of Judah. He also kept experienced fighting men in Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 17:1-13)
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. (This must be his day, he thought.)
(Running out of hands and options and not wanting to lose any of his prize collection) Quickly, he put (the second) one beetle in his mouth and grabbed the third specimen with his free hand. (But the insect had other ideas.) To defend itself, the beetle in Darwin’s mouth gave him a (nasty) squirt of acid and Darwin went into a fit of coughing. When it was over he had lost all three beetles.