2 Chronicles 19

2 Chronicles 19 has Jehoshaphat returning safely after the battle.  It was only by God’s mercy that he got home.  He should have died in battle – the Syrians had him in their grasp. He hardly gets back to his house before being greeted with a word from God through Jehu, son of Hanani.  And God rebukes him through this interaction.  “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord”.  Jehoshaphat did not listen to God’s earlier direction about this battle, and now gets lambasted because of that disobedience.

But God did not want Jehoshaphat to be crushed by the rebuke through the words of Jehu, so He included a word of encouragement.  God knew that Jehoshaphat did not approve of all evil, so He encouraged the king in the places where he did hate evil and refuse compromise.  “Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God”.  God focuses on what Jehoshaphat has done in obedience, and most importantly calls out the fact that his heart is seeking God.

That is the most important thing in God’s eyes – the condition of our heart.  We all sin.  We will all make lots of mistakes that will cause us to fall short and miss the mark with God.  But the key is how our heart responds to that failure.  Jehoshaphat went out to all the people and “brought them back to the Lord”.  His heart was soft toward God and he corrected his past failings.  He also charged others in his kingdom to do the right things.  “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”.

That was his instruction to the judges.  He also gives instruction to the leaders in his kingdom.  “You shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart”. He cuts right to the core of it all.  We have to live in a right way with God.  It is the job of the leaders to courageously do what was good, and to then trust that the LORD will be us.  God is at work all around us.  He expects us to lead well as servant leaders and follow Him.  When we do, we experience His blessing.  When we fail, we experience His wrath.  A pretty easy choice to make……

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