Thought to Guide Your ReadingInfluenced by Israel, the kings of Judah did not stay faithful to God.
Summary in 100 Words or LessJehoshaphat angered God by helping Ahab.
Jehoshaphat appointed judges and priests and urged them to judge fairly.
Moabites and Ammonites attacked Judah. God caused them to kill each other.
Jehoshaphat died a good king.
Judah's next king, Jehoram, married Ahab's daughter and killed his brothers. God gave him a bowel disease and he died. Judah was glad to see him go.
Jehoram's son Ahaziah, the next king, was killed for not obeying God.
Only Joash survived a horrible massacre of the royal family. Six years later, Jehoiada the priest placed him on the throne. Judah revived their covenant with God.
How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right
God was angry at Jehoshaphat for coming under Ahab's influence, not for visiting Ahab.Jehoshaphat set into motion a bad precedent by working with Ahab. By "cozying up to God-haters" (19:2, The Message), Jehoshaphat gave an example which his children and grandchildren emulated. His son married Ahab's daughter, and things went south for two generations. Jehoshaphat's son and grandson led all of Judah to compromise their standing with God by worshiping Baal. Do not make alliances with those who are not converted to God setting all things right. It may spoil your family for generations to come.
Heed Jehoshaphat's words to the judges and priests.Last week the Supreme Court of the United States came out with several large rulings. Instead of dissecting the rulings I wish to repeat what Jehoshaphat charged the judges with,
This is serious work; do it carefully. You are not merely judging between men and women; these are God's judgments that you are passing on. Live in the fear of God - be most careful, for God hates dishonesty, partiality, and bribery. … Do your work in the fear of God; be dependable and honest in your duties. When a case comes before you involving any of your fellow citizens, whether it seems large (like murder) or small (like matters of interpretation of the law), you are responsible for warning them that they are dealing with God. Make that explicit, otherwise both you and they are going to be dealing with God's wrath. Do your work well or you'll end up being as guilty as they are. … Be bold and diligent. And God be with you as you do your best. (19:6-11)Judges, honor God and be above reproach or you are no different than the criminals you judge.
God protected Judah from the Moabites and Amorites because they called out for protection.I love this part of the story. Jehoshaphat sees they are vastly outnumbered. He calls all of Judah into Jerusalem to do the one thing they know will work—call out to God for salvation. They humbled themselves before God and told God they could survive only through His help. And God protected them. God protects His Chosen People when they call on Him for protection.
Mothers have a large influence over their children's morality.It may seem strange to see the mother's names when each king is appointed. However, today's reading gives the reason this is important—Ahaziah's mother Athaliah taught him wickedness. She became so self-important that after her son was executed for his wickedness she ruled Israel with an iron fist. She had all of the family of Jehoram killed (except Joash who escaped). Mothers, teach your children that God is setting all things right and we should join Him. Mothers have a unique position in life. No one—not even fathers—can influence children like their mothers.
Sometimes political change back to God takes time.Jehoiada did not keep Joash in the Temple and immediately call for him to be on the throne. He took time, allowed Joash to grow, created a consensus among the other leaders, and waited until the time was right to bring the change. We do not know what he had to do in the interim with Athaliah on the throne. However, he had a plan all along to set Judah back on the right path. Setting things right in an entire nation takes time. Do not give up on your leaders when they do not make the "right" decision every time.
What bad influences should you remove to protect your family?