5/5/2016 LESSON 10
JEHOSHAPHAT: A GOOD KING WITH A BAD FRIEND
Quarter’s Theme: PORTRAITS OF JEWISH KINGS
Unit 3 – Portraits Of The Kings Of Divided Kingdom (Lessons 5-12)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 416, 421
Devotional Reading: PROV. 3:1-12
Topic For Adults
YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED
Topic For Youths
BREAKING WITH THE PAST
Topic For Intermediates
2 CHRO. 17:1-6; 18:1-3; 20:20-30
(SOUL WINNERS CROWN COMPETITION MONTHS)
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Your Legacy, What Will It Be?
2 Kgs. 22:2
Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, was a violent and bloody king, who filled Jerusalem with the people’s blood (2 Kgs. 21:6). He did what God said was wrong. Josiah was only 8 years old when he ascended the throne, and it was recorded that did righteousness and didn’t stop doing what was right all his life (2 Kgs. 22:4). During the rebuilding of the temple, he discovered a scroll containing God’s law. The scroll was read diligently to the people, as they wept on realising how far they had drifted from God. Josiah took decisive step to restore Israel back to God (2 Chro. 34:14-17). An entire generation received grace because of the integrity of one man. So, you can rise above your past and make the remarkable difference your generation is waiting for. God is there to give you a new birth and a new beginning. Just like Josiah, you cannot control your past but you do have a say in your life, you have a voice in your destiny, you have a choice in the path you take. Choose well and someday generations to come will thank God for the legacy you left.
Point of Emphasis: What will the generations after you remember you for?
Prayer Point: I will not bring reproach to my generation.
Jehoshaphat meaning “the Lord Judges” was the son of king Asa and Azabah
(daughter of Shilhi – 2 Kgs. 22:42) who became the fourth king of Judah between
873 and 849 BC at the age of 35, and reigned for 25 years. He was very religious; he sought the Lord in all things. He spent the first year of his reign fortifying his kingdom against the kingdom of Israel. He inaugurated a system of public instructions, sent priests and Levites on regular circuits with the book of the law to teach the people. He established courts of justice throughout the land. He maintained a vast army, and waxed exceedingly great. His zeal in suppressing the idolatrous worship of the high places is commended in 2 Chro. 17:6.
NOTE ON THE TEXTS
PART 1: WALKING IN GOD’S COMMANDMENTS (2 CHRO. 17:1-6)
God is a God of greatness and He makes those who truly follow Him great. If you are linked with Him, He will empower you. When Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, he did not follow the evil of his fathers before him but he sought God in all things. He walked in the way of David who was a reference point for the kings of Israel (vs 3, 4). He also destroyed the wooden idols and the “high places” where people worshipped idols. Believing the scriptures as a basis for moral transfor-mation and deliverance from ignorance and religious bigotry, Jehoshaphat introduced a system of public instruction for the whole Judah. He appointed a commission, composed of princes, Levites and priest to go from city to city to instruct the people. Their instruction was to be based on the one true foundation of sound moral and healthy religion among others. Jehoshaphat found favour in the sight of God and his kingdom was established for him. Every child of God must determine in his heart to walk in obedience to God’s commandments. His commandments are not burdensome but in keeping them there is abundant reward. You will surely find favour with God as you do so.
PART 2: AVOID BAIT (2 CHRO. 18:1-3)
Most often, things that appear too good and too easy to get, could be baits to get you into Satan’s snare. That is, it is what people love most that is used as a bait to destroy them. The Bible says in Prov. 7 vs 23, “Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and does not know that it is for his life”
Jehoshaphat was a great diplomat. He loved alliance for the purpose of securing peace within as well as territorial peace. Hence, he formed alliance with evil king Ahab of Israel by marriage between his son and King Ahab’s daughter. It was the instance of this unholy alliance that King Ahab seized to invite Jehoshaphat to fight the armies of Syria. This big mistake would have cost Jehoshaphat his life were it not for the mercy of God. Believers should be wary of unholy association with those who hate God. Such relationships are bound to sink. The Lord soundly reprimanded Jehoshaphat for supporting sin. Prophet Jehu met King Jehoshaphat and told him not to help the wicked and not to love those who hate the Lord. If you are flying high for God, run far from sin.
PART 3: INVASION: TRUST GOD TO DELIVER (2 CHRO. 20:20-30)
It is much easier to act as God – honouring king when things are going well. It is in times of distress that a person’s character is tested. Jehoshaphat faced the threat of being invaded. He saw the enemy too strong, and the resources with which to resist too weak and wisdom inadequate. There was no way that king Jehoshaphat could win the war. As Christians, the Bible says that God’s power is made evident in our weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12: 9-10).
King Jehoshaphat recognised the awesome power of his enemy. Many Christians have lost important struggles because they underestimated the power of Satan. None of us, regardless of our wisdom, can outsmart Satan (Jer. 17:5). So, Jehoshaphat added the fourth dimension – a God who is able; He organised a national day of prayer. The king himself prayed beautiful prayer expressing God’s might, His history and promise of aid to His people.
This period of waiting is perhaps one of the most difficult part of life of faith in God. In Christian terms, it is the Saturday that falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Thankfully, God always has a plan. The Lord God responded to Jehoshaphat’s prayer even beyond the comprehension of man! He won the battle. No matter how great the enemy may rise against you, you only need to trust in God and He will grant you victory in all your battles.
King Jehoshaphat was one of the best, most pious and prosperous kings of Judah. His secret of success was anchored on the fact that he partnered with Jehovah. The scripture records that “he sought God in all things”. Also, whenever he made mistakes, he quickly renewed his relationship with God. We as children of God are to borrow a leaf from the lifestyle of this great king as children of God.
- How would you describe Jehoshaphat’s lifestyle in his relationship with God?
- Mention the mistakes that Jehoshaphat made.
- Is it possible to gain victory over Satan through human strategy and wisdom?
- The period of waiting after prayer is the most difficult part of the life of faith in God – Discuss.
- Mention the area where the lifestyle of Jehoshaphat challenges you.