Last week i did a post on following the crowd and in that post i mentioned i will be doing a follow up post on how compromise almost took the life of king Jehoshaphat. Today we will be looking into the life of this great man of God.
To get a clearer understanding of this post, i will encourage you to read 2 Chronicles 18, 20:31-37. I will be pulling out certain verses from these chapters for us to focus on. But before i do that, let me give you a quick overview of who this man was.
Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah and a bold follower of God. He carried out a national programme on religious education. He called the people to prayer. He was a committed and devoted man. He had many military victories. He seemed like the right guy for the job. He was a man who loved God, loved the people, and knew how to do his job well. So where did he go wrong?
Compromise in marital relationship
Despite his strengths, he compromised by arranging for his son to marry Athaliah, the daughter of wicked king Ahab.
Jehoshaphat enjoyed great riches and high esteem, and he made an alliance with Ahab of Israel by having his son marry Ahab’s daughter. 2 Chronicles 8:1
Marriage doesn’t only bring two people together, it also brings two families together. What does a family where holiness and righteousness is treasured have to do with a family where idolatry is reverend? I have had many young people ask me if it’s OK to marry someone who is good but not really into faith. And i always ask them why they are feeling the need to compromise with something that should be their anchor. Our faith is where our story begins. It is our foundation. The topic of faith when it comes to marriage shouldn’t be an area where compromise is even considered.
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
This blend of family exposed Jehoshaphat to a circle he shouldn’t be in and the result of this leads to my next point.
Compromise in social relationships
A few years later he went to Samaria to visit Ahab, who prepared a great banquet for him and his officials. They butchered great numbers of sheep, goats, and cattle for the feast. Then Ahab enticed Jehoshaphat to join forces with him to recover Ramoth-gilead. 2 Chronicles 18:2
Marrying from the family of Ahab brought him into a relationship which exposed him to temptations. James 1:14 says temptation comes from our own desires. As Jehoshaphat got comfortable at dinner, Ahab pitched his product. He enticed Jehoshaphat to join forces with him. Pay attention to the word ‘enticed’. Watch what you do when your belly is full. Watch what you do when you are comfortable.
Jehoshaphat made an alliance with Ahab the wicked king. Ahab was an opportunist who wanted to capitalize on Jehoshaphat’s popularity and power. This alliance had 3 consequences.
- Jehoshaphat incurred God’s anger (2 Chronicles 19:2)
- When Jehoshaphat’s grandson died, Athaliah his daughter in law seized the throne and almost destroyed all of David’s descendants (22:10-12)
- Athaliah brought the evil practices of Israel into Judah, which eventually led to the nation’s downfall.
When believers form close alliance and relationships with unbelievers, values can be compromised and spiritual awareness dulled.
When asked to join forces, Jehoshaphat agreed to the deal before saying he will go ask God. He has already committed to this with his words. The bible warns against making promises we cannot keep. He preempted God by committing to something God never told him to commit to.
In what areas of our lives are we preempting God? Sometimes we make decisions on our own, and attach the name of Jesus Christ to them when Jesus had nothing to do with those choices. It looks good, doesn’t mean it is right. It is right doesn’t mean it is right for you. This is the reason why we always have to acknowledge Him in all our ways so He will direct our paths.
Jehoshaphat now in an awkward situation wants to go find out what God thinks about a decision he has already committed to with his words. Ahab brought his prophets, bringing Jehoshaphat into;
Compromise in spiritual relationship
These were not prophets of God. They were in Ahab’s team. Can you see how far this situation is going? Jehoshaphat now finds himself among 400 demonic prophets who told Ahab exactly what he wanted to hear. The people we are surrounded with are constantly speaking into our lives. If these people are not of God, their words will contaminate our spirit.
These demonic prophets all said it’s ok for the battle to go ahead.
So the king of Israel summoned the prophets, 400 of them, and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold back?”
They all replied, “Yes, go right ahead! God will give the king victory.” verse 5
Jehoshaphat asked for another prophet and Micaiah gave a different prophecy which was opposite of what the 400 prophets said. But Jehoshaphat ignored it and still went ahead.
It does us no good to seek God’s advice if we ignore when it is given. Real love for God is not only shown when we ask Him for direction. It is also shown when we obey and follow His direction.
In verses 31-33, Jehoshaphat narrowly escaped death. At this point, you would have thought he learnt his lesson. But no, because he went further to;
Compromise in business relationship
In 2 Chronicles 20:35-37, Jehoshaphat is seen forming another alliance with another wicked king. Ahab was killed in the previous battle. Now Jehoshaphat teamed up with King Ahaziah of Israel to build a fleet of trading ships. This never ended well because God destroyed it. When we stay in compromise, we become desensitized to sin. Jehoshaphat’s judgement is now blurred and he no longer sees any danger in forming alliances with wicked kings.
Some time later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked. Together they built a fleet of trading ships at the port of Ezion-geber. Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, “Because you have allied yourself with King Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy your work.” So the ships met with disaster and never put out to sea. (2 Chronicles 20:35-37)
To compromise is to accept standards that are lower than is desirable. Jehoshaphat met disaster when he joined forces with wicked king Ahaziah. This was because they were both on different wave current. The spirit of God and the spirit of the devil cannot work together. We court disaster when we enter into compromise with unbelievers because our foundations are different.
Think of areas where you are compromising. Pray and make a decision today to break those ties and decide to make better choices.