May 20. Jehoshaphat’s Reign

I Kin. 22:45-50; II Chron. 19:1-21:1

Good people and good kings make mistakes and sin. After the death of Ahab, Jehoshaphat returned home to Jerusalem. He was met by Jehu, the prophet who rebuked him for participating in Israel’s war.

However, the king had maintained his good qualities of trying to seek the Lord. In order to reform Judean worship he set up impartial judges in the fortified cities with Levites, priests and some of the chief fathers of Israel to serve in Jerusalem.

Another great accomplishment of Jehoshaphat was his reliance upon God to see him through a great threat from three groups of people that were not disturbed during the wilderness wanderings—Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir. Those people had mobilized themselves to, “throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.”

The king realized that he had no power over such a great multitude that they were facing. He prayed for help. The prophet Jahaziel gave them instructions from the Lord. “Do not be afraid…the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…”

What followed was mass confusion. “For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” Judah spent the next three days gathering the valuable spoils of precious jewelry from the bodies of the slain.

The people of Judah along with their king rejoiced and blessed the Lord for His deliverance from their enemies. Word spread among the other kingdoms of how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Judah. Peace reigned the remainder of Jehoshaphat’s twenty-five years as king. After his death, his son Jehoram became king of Judah.