GOD is NEVER PLEASED with our SPIRITUAL INFIDELITY
May 8 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 19-21
Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned safely to his house in Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you. Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.” (2 Chron. 19:1-3)
Jehoshaphat was one of the few kings of Judah, who walked in the ways of David (17:3), obeyed God’s Word sincerely, and initiated his religious reforms (17:3–9). However, in due course, he “allied himself” with King Ahab and Jezebel of Israel through the marriage of his son Jehoram to their daughter Athaliah (18:1). After some years when he went to visit Ahab in Samaria, he was subjected to tremendous pressure to join with Ahab to fight a war against Syria in Ramoth Gilead (18:1-2). Jehoshaphat succumbed under the persuasion of Ahab and his people, and meekly replied to Ahab: "I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war." (18:3)
This unholy alliance with the wicked king Ahab and his heathen wife Jezebel resulted in spiritual infidelity for Jehoshaphat. Even though Jehoshaphat was more spiritually motivated than Ahab, he was drawn into a war with Syria as a result of this “unequal yoke” (1 Kings 22:2–5). The incident involving the lying prophets and the one true prophet (Micaiah) displayed the divergent views between Jehoshaphat and Ahab (18:4-24; 1 Kings 22:5–28). Jehoshaphat compromised with his spiritual values when he kept silent when the prophet Micaiah was unjustly put into prison by Ahab for prophesying the truth (18:25-26). Jehoshaphat also put himself in mortal danger by putting on the kingly robes and pretending to be the king of Israel at the persuasion of the scheming Ahab (18:28-32).
It is therefore not surprising that God was not pleased with the actions of Jehoshaphat for helping the wicked Ahab, and loving him enough to follow his steps into the battlefield against the Syrians. God therefore sent Jehu, the son of Hanani, who was a prophet of the Lord (18:1) to rebuke the alliance between Jehoshaphat and Ahab. Still, it was Jehoshaphat’s heart attitude that was of primary importance, and he responded without showing any animosity towards God’s prophet. This entire incident reflected God’s mercy and grace extended toward His children as a result of their relationship to Him, and not because of their works alone!
We may recall that the prophet Hanani had once chastised King Asa for depending on the Syrians to defeat Baasha, king of Israel (see 16:7). Now Hanani’s son Jehu rebuked Jehoshaphat for helping the ‘ungodly’ (Ahab); and for loving them that ‘hate the Lord’ (the people of Israel). However, unlike his father Asa who had imprisoned the prophet Hanani, Jehoshaphat received Jehu graciously and responded with further spiritual zeal.
Let us remember that God’s standard of holiness requires that we guard our associations as God is never pleased with our spiritual infidelity. We must be careful not only to shun unrighteousness and worldliness ourselves, but not to support or participate with others who promote it. When we are out of the will of God and get into places of danger, we tempt God, and it is a sin to tempt God and force Him to work miracles on our behalf. Let us be careful not to promote the ungodly, or, to support those whose ways contradict the laws of God and thus displease God.