Reference: 2 Chronicles 19:1-3
Heart of the Story: The prophet Jehu, condemned King Jehoshaphat because he joined with Ahab the king of Israel to recover the town of Ramoth Gilead from the Arameans.
Background: In the preceding blog entry, described how the prophet Jehu condemned King Baasha of Israel. This particular event occurred years later (c. 853 BC). King Jehoshaphat of Judah joined with King Ahab to fight the Arameans and recover the town of Ramoth Gilead. In the battle, King Ahab was killed; however, King Jehoshaphat returned safely to Jerusalem.
Story Line: God wasn’t too happy that King Jehoshaphat of Judah aligned himself with King Ahab, the same Ahab who married Jezebel and led Israel further into idolatry. The biblical description of this event recorded that Jehu went out to meet King Jehoshaphat. Perhaps, King Jehoshaphat was just returning from battle or the king was out of his palace and Jerusalem at another time. Jehu’s message to King Jehoshaphat included:
- Why did you help the wicked (King Ahab) and love those that hate the Lord?
- The result of your action King Jehoshaphat is that God’s wrath has gone out against you.
- Nevertheless, King Jehoshaphat, some good is in you, i.e., for you destroyed the Asheroth poles and worship sites out of the land and you set your heart to seek God.
This is the last (chronological) story about the prophet Jehu however he is credited with writing annuals about the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah which were incorporated in the book of the kings of Israel (1 Chronicles 20:34).
Pondering Relationships: The prophet Jehu was the prophet Hanani son. From what I surmise, both Hanani and Jehu lived in Judah. Despite being Judahites, Jehu prophesied against both Northern and Southern Kingdom kings. When God called Jehu to speak out he did so. Jehu’s words to King Baasha and King Jehoshaphat differed. He had nothing good to say about King Baasha. In contrast, Jehu (speaking God’s words) acknowledged that King Jehu made an effort in his heart to seek God and God’s will for Judah.
The way God and Jehu interpret King Jehoshaphat’s action in joining with King Ahab of Israel was that Jehoshaphat loved a man and a country that hated God.
Reflection: A corollary of Jehu’s direction is that the United States needs to be careful about aligning itself with countries that hate God, to include countries that do not worship God. That would mean countries such as India, the Arab nations, China and Japan. Isn’t this and its corollary an eye-opening three verses in 2 Chronicles?
Copyright July 9, 2017; Carolyn A. Roth
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