Summary: Jehoshaphat’s friendship with Ahab led him to compromise in several ways, ways that almost led to his downfall.
THE DANGER OF COMPROMISE
In chapter 17 we found that Jehoshaphat was a man who (1) walked with God. (2) He led others to walk with God, and (3) who experienced the blessings of God. However, he was not a perfect man. The Bible does not cover up the shortcomings of His Servants. In 2 Chronicles 19:1-3, he is rebuked by Jehu. “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you.”
Why did God send his prophet to rebuke Jehoshaphat. The answer is in chapter 18. We learned that he compromised in at least three ways. Primarily, Jehoshaphat compromised by establishing a friendship Ahab of Israel. He became a friend with an ungodly man. His friendship with Ahab caused him to do some things he would not have done otherwise.
Who are your best friends? It is easy for us to find ourselves with the wrong kind of friends. Bad friends will pull us away from God and lead us down the wrong paths. James wrote, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1) Jehoshaphat’s friendship with Ahab led him to compromise in several ways, ways that almost led to his downfall.
I. HE COMPROMISED BY ARRANGING A MARRIAGE BETWEEN HIS SON WHO WOULD BE KING AND THE DAUGHTER OF AHAB AND JEZEBEL.
How could Jehoshaphat who believed in Yahweh, allow, and even encourage his Son to marry the daughter of Baal worshippersm(18:1). Yet there are many professing Christians who marry non believers or even people of a different faith. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
Some suggest, this was a plot of Satan to infiltrate the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Jezebel had married king Ahab of the Northern Kingdom. She had introduced Baal worship and had killed most of the true prophets of the LORD. This alliance was no doubt the devil’s strategy to introduce Baal worship to Judah. Though Jehoshaphat let his people to experience revival, his son led the people into the worship of Baal.
This unholy marriage almost led to the end of the line of David.
II. HE COMPROMISED HIS MILITARY BY AGREEING TO HELP AHAB IN A WAR. (18:1-2)
Ahab requested that Jehoshaphat help out in a war. Without praying and seeking the will of God, he agreed to help king Ahab. It was a war that almost cost him his life.
The Bible tells us Jehoshaphat’s kingdom had been peaceful up to this point: “The fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chronicles 17:10). Judah was blessed and prospered abundantly, and nobody dared come against them. But after Jehoshaphat developed a friendship with Ahab, he found himself involved in a war that God had no part of.
What about your best friend? Is your close friend full of bitterness, hatred, anger — and pursuing a war of some kind? Is he involved in a marriage war, a family war, a personal war? And are you like a Jehoshaphat to him, offering help and encouragement? If so, look out — you’re about to be seduced into it all! Be careful, you might become a partaker in that person’s sin. When Jehoshaphat joined Ahab’s war, he only hastened his friend along the path of destruction.
III. HE COMPROMISED HIS FAITH BY NOT HEEDING THE MESSENGER OF GOD. (4-27)
Ahab wanted the prophets of Baal because they told him what he wanted to hear. Jehoshaphat asked for and got a prophet of the Lord. However, he failed to heed the message delivered by that prophet. We compromise when we violate the clear teachings of Scripture.
If you have the wrong friends you may wind up ignoring God’s Word and disobey Scriptural counsel. You can hear the word taught but you can expect some person to explain it away. That is just what Satan did with Eve. “Did God really say that…..”
Peer pressure will often lead us to participate in things that we know are wrong. While Jehoshaphat believed in the living God, and wanted a prophet of the Lord, he listened to the false prophets of Baal. The true prophet predicted defeat. Jehoshaphat found himself in a battle he should never have entered and it almost cost his life. The most tragic consequence of compromise with an evil friendship is that you may experience God’s wrath. (19:2)