Summary: Let’s examine the man God used to bring revival to the nation of Judah. As we examine this chapter we will discover the kind of person God will use to turn our nation back to the LORD.
THE NEED FOR GODLY LEADERSHIP
After the death of King Solomon, the nation was divided into two kingdoms. The Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Israel had 19 kings and every one of them was evil. Judah had 20 kings. Eight were good kings. Five of them were used to bring revival to the Land. The revival kings were Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
For the next few Sunday’s, I want us to examine the story of one of those revival kings, King Jehoshaphat. In 2 Chronicles 17-20, God used king Jehoshaphat as his revivalist. Though he was not a perfect man, as we shall see, he was used to turn his people back to God. Perhaps 19:4 gives us a summary of his reign. “So Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD God of their fathers.”
Chapter 17, sets the stage for a revival that took place in chapter 20. Let’s examine the man God used to bring revival to the nation of Judah. As we examine this chapter we will discover the kind of person God will use to turn our nation back to the LORD. (Jehoshaphat means God Judges)
I. GODLY LEADERS WALK WITH GOD.
Jehoshaphat followed the ways of King David. “The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed” (v 3). He sought the LORD rather than the false gods. “He did not consult the Baals, but sought the God of his fathers.”
HE FOLLOWED THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD RATHER THAN THE PRACTICES OF ISRAEL. At that time the Northern Kingdom of Israel was following Baal. Jehoshaphat, king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah sought to be true to Jehovah. He had a heart for God and was devoted to God’s ways. He removed the high places from Judah. The result was, “the Lord established his kingdom” and prospered him greatly. The nation of Judah grew strong and prospered under Jehoshaphat’s reign.
II. GODLY LEADERS LEAD OTHERS TO WALK WITH GOD.(17:7-9 19:4-11)
Godly leaders not only seek the Lord for themselves, they encourage the people to seek the Lord. They want people to know the truths of God’s Word. Jehoshaphat was not a perfect man. In fact, he made several serious blunders as we shall see in our next message. However, in spite of his imperfections, he was used of God to revive the hearts of the people and turn the people back to the Lord (19:4).
Jehoshaphat had a concern for teaching the word of God to the people living throughout the land of Judah. This was not a time of revival but a period of reformation and preparation that led ultimately to the revival that is recorded in chapter 20. Other elements were also instrumental in bringing about the revival. There was prayer, there was praise, and the preaching of the Word.
Without a strong emphasis on the Word, any revival will be short lived. I have shared with you several times about the revival that came to Meridian several years ago. That revival was wonderful, but it was short lived. One of the reasons for the brevity of that revival was the neglect of the Word. Those who were on fire for Jesus, enjoyed the worship, the praise. They enjoyed seeing God answer prayer. However, there was a serious neglect of the Word.
One of the purposes of the church is to teach and preach God’s Word. If you are a Sunday School teacher, you have a job that is more important that the president of the USA.
III. GODLY LEADERS EXPERIENCE THE BLESSINGS OF GOD
Tonight we will examine another leader, king Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Ahab was among the worst of Israel’s kings. Instead of leading his people in the paths of righteousness and godliness, he pulled the nation down with him.
On the other hand, Jehoshaphat was a godly man who sought the Lord. He sought the Lord on more than one occasion in his life. In other words he had a heart for God and because of that, God blessed him and prospered him. He led his people to trust in the Lord as well.
Look at some of the results of his godly leadership in the nation of Judah. Judah experienced a time of peace (v. 10). Moreover, they experienced a time of plenty (11-12). Former enemies brought tribute to Judah. Material prosperity was a sign of God’s blessings. Judah also experienced God’s protection and was strengthened militarily.
CONCLUSION: Yes, we do need Godly leadership in our nation, in our state, in our local communities, and in our churches. Those whom we elect to lead our nation will Who we elect will determine the direction our nation will take. Who will become the next supreme court justices? Will our nation be forced to accept new moral standards that the majority of us do not believe in?