2 Chronicles 19 has Jehoshaphat returning safely and being met by Jehu, the seer. He is told that he has irritated the Lord and “wrath has gone out against you from the Lord”. That is some serious business. He has frustrated God and is not on His good side. But then Jehu balances the wrath with this statement: “some good is found in you”. Jehoshaphat did wrong, but he also had done some good. He destroyed the idols and “set your heart to seek God”.
Jehoshaphat jumps into action, knowing he is sort of on the fence between God’s wrath and blessing. He heads out to the country among the people and “brought them back to the Lord”. From there, he decides to appoint judges that will lead the people. His direction was “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes”.
He instructs the judges to give judgment in the fear of the Lord. He is pointing these leaders to God. Good step, but he goes one further. Jehoshaphat appoints some priests and heads of families to “give judgment for the Lord and to decide disputed cases”. He goes a step deeper and puts more people in charge to make sure that judgment will happen quickly and effectively. He charged them to live in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness and with your whole heart. Not just go through the motion, but live all out for God.
Jehoshaphat takes strong action and leads the people back to God. He disobeyed God by getting tied up with Ahab and going out to a battle that didn’t really happen, but he also did good by cleaning up the idol worship. He led the people back to God. He did good and balanced the bad with good. And God honored that. He repented and got his heart right and back on track with God. He creates a system that will support the effort to focus on God. He leads well here. It’s unfortunate he didn’t do it well all along.