Jehoshaphat had one more endeavor he SHOULD have passed up. But it seems he can’t say no to ‘family’. God won’t let his sin prosper.
Much earlier in Jehoshaphat’s reign he tried to reunite the two kingdoms of Israel through marriage. God said “NO” to this plan and called Jehoshaphat up short on this issue. God told Jehoshaphat that His wrath had gone out because of this sin. So WHY did he climb back into a relationship with Ahab’s son later on?
Have you ever had someone you couldn’t say “no” to? It seems that family members are especially good at working the angle where “no” doesn’t hold up. Ask the family of any addict and they will tell you it takes a LOT before they can stand up and say “no” to the manipulation.
Jehoshaphat married into the family of Ahab. He was bound by more than past history to the kings of Israel. They were now close family. Jehoshaphat knew God didn’t approve of the union but there was no undoing it. Ahaziah was family. And when family asks you to help them, you most often do. Jehoshaphat did and it got him in trouble again.
God had a plan for His people. Having the kingdoms separate was part of that plan. KEEPING them separated because of their allegiance to Him was another BIG part of His plan. Jehoshaphat was messing with that plan. And God wouldn’t have it.
This time when Jehoshaphat was confronted God only destroyed what he was currently building with Ahaziah. It could have been much worse! Jehoshaphat only lost the shipping business he was involved in. I don’t believe God’s promise to destroy what Jehoshaphat had made included all the reform he made for the Lord. Although it would be quite a while before a godly king ruled Judah again. Sin has a cost.
One thing that came to mind when talking about family ‘requests’. The story of Jesus’ family coming for Him. He told those who were with Him that his “family” were the ones who followed the will of His Father. Jesus put His relationship with His Father above ALL else. That was Jehoshaphat’s sin; putting his earthly relationships above that of his God.
Easier said than done sometimes because it is the hidden motives that can get us into trouble. Ahaziah’s motives weren’t the problem; his LACK of relationship with God was. This is something that Jehoshaphat should have seen clearly. Maybe he thought he could influence Ahazia in a positive way through their endeavor. Unfortunately it usually works the other way where the one in sin pulls the other down. This is why God calls us to come out from the world and be separate. Not separate as in living on a desert island with only Christian brothers and sisters but separate as in not getting into business or long term relationships with those who do not love the Lord. I failed to follow that advice and it cost me dearly.
Father God, forgive me for insisting on ‘learning the hard way’ in many aspects of my life. Thank You for Your mercy and grace that pulled me from the fire on MORE occasions than I can count. Thank You for my children, even though the relationship was not what You would have chosen for me. I know that even now there are flaws in how my relationship with my husband developed but we are one in our love for You. Thank You for that! Continue Your work in our lives. Draw us closer to You and closer together too. Help me know when to say “No” and the courage to do so when told to by Your Holy Spirit.