Jehoshaphat went down in Bible history as one of Judah’s greatest kings. He loved the Lord with all his heart and led God’s people to walk in His ways. When the enemy was closing in, he looked to heaven for help.
I have been encouraged by his faith and love on many occasions. However, there is one very sad side to this man. The Bible says that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. Sometimes it is those secret struggles that we never deal with that cause us to fall short of God’s best.
Jehoshaphat felt bound by the need to please his family. Ahab was Israel’s most evil king. He was married to Jezebel, worshipped idols and carried out obscene rituals. He was the definition of wicked.
But to Jehoshaphat, he was family. They had a shared heritage and he felt compelled to honour his “brother”. So when Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to go to war alongside him, he agreed: “I am as you are, and my people as your people, we will be with you in the war.” (2 Chronicles 18:3)
Jehoshaphat went to war with Ahab but when he returned home, God sent a prophet to confront him: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.” (2 Chronicles 19:2).
A few years later, Jehoshaphat did it again. This time he agreed to go into business with Ahab’s son: “After this, Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly.” (2 Chronicles 20:35)
Jehoshaphat never dealt with controlling family attachments. He felt compelled to comply with their wishes. The Bible is clear that we must honour our father and mother. We are to walk in love towards all people. However, we must make choices in line with God’s will and His word.
Several years ago my husband and I were in a powerful church meeting. The presence of God was strong and we were being touched in a very meaningful way. Lifting up my head from prayer, I turned to my husband and said, “We need to leave. We need to visit my mum.”
He quoted the word to me: “Who is your mother and your brother?” I immediately understood. It was a phrase from the story where Jesus’s family were trying to pull Him away from healing the people. Jesus went on to say: “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
My husband was helping me to understand when complying with family requests was at odds with the will of God. We stayed and the Lord met with us both in a powerful way. Then we went to see my parents.
Traction & culture
Jehoshaphat never dealt with this issue. He appointed his first born Jehoram as king to comply with culture and family tradition even through he was a wicked young man. Jehoram murdered all his brothers and then died a terrible death.
Everything Jehoshaphat worked so hard to build was destroyed after his death, all because he did not deal with a wrong relationship with family and tradition.
Let’s make a decision in prayer to always seek to please God. If you realise that you sometimes feel compelled or controlled, ask God to do a work within. Come and keep coming to Healed for Life, you will be amazed at what He will do in you. We have a Refresher Day on 25 March in Davie FL, please join us if you can!