In life, the company we keep plays a significant role in shaping our destiny. The story of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and his ill-fated alliance with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of aligning with those who live offensive lives before God. Through this account, we are reminded of the importance of discernment and the need to prioritize our relationship with God above all else.
The Dangerous Partnership:
Jehoshaphat found himself at a crossroads when Ahab proposed a joint military campaign against Ramoth-gilead. Ignoring the warning signs, Jehoshaphat agreed to accompany Ahab into battle, wearing the king’s royal attire. Little did he know that this decision would prove to be costly, as it made him a target for those who sought to destroy Ahab. Mistaken for his ally, Jehoshaphat found himself in grave danger.
The Perils of Association:
The incident with Jehoshaphat vividly demonstrates the perils of association. When we choose to stand alongside those who live contrary to God’s ways, we risk being identified with their actions and beliefs. People may begin to view us as complicit or in agreement with their ungodly behavior. It serves as a stark reminder that our choices of companionship can have far-reaching consequences.
God’s Warning and Redemption:
Recognizing Jehoshaphat’s grave error, God allowed a powerful enemy nation to rise against Judah. The threat was imminent, and destruction seemed inevitable. It was in this desperate situation that Jehoshaphat and his people humbled themselves, seeking God’s intervention at the temple. Their cries for deliverance reached the heavens, and God responded with a powerful message: “The battle is mine.”
Relying on God’s Power:
In response to God’s assurance of victory, Jehoshaphat and his people went forth, not with weapons of war, but with instruments and voices raised in worship and praise. They sang songs of victory, declaring their trust in God’s mighty hand. As they advanced, their focus shifted from their own limited strength to the limitless power of God. They embraced their dependence on Him and found strength in surrender.
Lessons for Today:
The account of Jehoshaphat’s harrowing experience carries significant lessons for us today. Firstly, it is essential to exercise discernment when choosing our companions. We must be cautious about aligning ourselves with those whose lives are offensive to God, regardless of their previous standing or titles. Jehoshaphat and Ahab were family by blood, yet just because someone is family to you, doesn’t mean they are friends to God.
Moreover, when we receive a warning or hear God’s voice through His messengers, we must be willing to change our plans, even if it goes against conventional wisdom. Our obedience to God’s instructions is paramount, regardless of how things may appear.
Lastly, we must understand that victory comes not through our own efforts, but through wholehearted reliance on God. When faced with insurmountable challenges, we must seek His face, humble ourselves before Him, and place our trust in His faithfulness. Through worship and praise, we acknowledge that God is the ultimate victor, and our hope lies in His unfailing power.
New York City, Catholic Church, Allies with Black Lives Matters
This revelation of God’s heart toward His people, when we make allies of those who are against Him and His ways, is not limited to what this one priest chose to do in New York joining BLM, along with many other ‘Churches’ which did the same, it applies to any alliance with those you know stand against God’s expectations, as written in Scripture, for His people.
The story of Jehoshaphat’s partnership with Ahab serves as a stark reminder of the importance of choosing our allies wisely. We must be cautious about joining forces with those who live offensive lives before God, as their actions can lead to severe consequences for ourselves and others. Instead, we should seek God’s guidance, listen to His warnings, and trust in His mighty power. Let us prioritize our relationship with God above all else and surround ourselves with those who share our commitment to walking in alignment with His ways. By doing so, we safeguard our spiritual well-being and ensure that our actions reflect our dedication to God. Let us be discerning in our associations, remembering that true friendship is rooted in a shared commitment to living according to God’s principles. May the cautionary tale of Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab serve as a timeless reminder to be vigilant in our choices and to always prioritize our relationship with God above all else.
Scripture referred to in this article:
- 1 Kings 22:4-5: “Then he [Jehoshaphat] said to Ahab, ‘Please inquire for the word of the Lord today.’ So the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, ‘Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?'”
- 1 Kings 22:6-9: The dialogue between Jehoshaphat and Ahab regarding their plans for battle.
- 1 Kings 22:10-14: The encounter between Jehoshaphat and the prophet Micaiah, who reveals God’s warning about Ahab’s demise.
- 1 Kings 22:29-37: The account of Ahab disguising himself while Jehoshaphat wore the king’s attire, leading to confusion and Jehoshaphat being mistaken for Ahab.
- 1 Kings 22:41-43: Jehoshaphat’s reign as king of Judah.
- 2 Chronicles 19:2: “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him [Jehoshaphat], and said to King Jehoshaphat, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.'”
- 2 Chronicles 20:1-30: The story of Jehoshaphat seeking God’s intervention in the face of a powerful enemy and the subsequent victory through worship and praise.