2 Chronicles 18:3, “And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.”
During the history of this earth, men and women have exercised their minds and have found themselves in opposite opinions many times over. Because of the effects of sin, many of those opinions have been very contrary to what the Bible teaches to be true and right. Through history, there have been multiple times when those who desire to see things their way have used times of chaos to pry their opinions into the minds of men and women. Several examples are found in the times of the kings of Israel and Judah.
(1) In 2 Kings chapters 9-11 we read about the powerful efforts of Jehu. Much could be said about his slaying of the worshipers of Baal and false gods of the world. When Jehu finished his circuit, there was a woman named Athaliah who took advantage of the situation to gain her control over the people. This woman was the daughter of Ahab, and used the circumstances of the day to get her grips on that she desired; ruling the people of Israel.
(2) During this time, a woman named Jehoshabeath took her brother Joash (son of King Ahaziah) and brought him to the priest Jehoiada who hid him from Athalia’s efforts to kill all the Kings sons. Jehoiada was a great teacher to Joash and when Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada anointed him king of Judah. Jehoiada’s influence had an incredible effect on the young king’s life. Without question, Joash was a more profitable and strengthened king because of Jehoiada. 2 Chronicles 24:17 we read, “Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.” The princes of Judah were more than likely the descendants of Solomon’s sons with the idolatrous women. When they saw the opportunity to push their ideas into the mind of the king, they did so. The Bible teaches us that the Spirit of God sent Zechariah, the son of Jehoida, to Joash to reprove him. But the king would not hear and sent men to murder the man whose father had been his counselor (2 Chron 24:19-22).
In our study verse, we find a similar situation as previously cited. Jehoshaphat was a good man, who compromised when Ahab came to him seeking assistance to war against common enemies. Ahab used the time of trouble and chaos to gain an affinity with Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat, because of his willingness to compromise, lost much more than he ever could have imagined:
(1) It cost him his favor with God, 2 Chronicles 19:2;
2) It cost him many spiritual friends, 2 Chronicles 17:7, 2 Chronicles 18:7, and 2 Chronicles 18:27;
(3) It nearly cost him his life, 2 Chronicles 18:31-32;
(4) It cost him the favor and confidence of the people, 2 Chronicles 19:4-11;
(5) It cost him his family, as his son married Ahab’s daughter and joined himself to the idolatrous ways of Ahab’s house (2 Chronicles 21:1-6).
In today’s world, the Covid-19 issue has caused men and women to worry and struggle with fear. Many in government have thought to use this issue to pry their new ideas (which are foreign to American principles) into the realms of law. The Lord’s faithful people are not exempt from such efforts on a religious level. During times like this, there will be temptations to stray away from the paths trodden by our forefathers to compromise with worldly ideas. Being separated (as many have) from a weekly worship service has not helped. The Lord’s people need each other, and the weekly time of fellowship in the Lord strengthens us for the spiritual warfare we face everyday. Now is a time when we all need to, as Joab said in 2 Samuel 10:12, “Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God:…” Now is the time when we should do as Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
My daily prayer is for the children of God, His Church, to be “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Laboring to please our Father in Heaven and to not compromise on a faithful stand in His sight, even in the face of temptations to deviate from the strait and narrow way (Matt 7:13-14). Remembering the words of the Lord when He said in Luke 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Amen!