Click here to learn more!
Jehoshaphat's experience with Ahab ought to have been enough to speak deeply to him as to the folly of bad associations, but God knew he needed more than experience, so he sent Jehu the son of Hanani to meet Jehoshaphat and to ask him, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? (v.2). Jehoshaphat surely knew the answer to this was "'No," and Jehu adds, "Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you." If believers become involved in wrong associations, they can only expect to incur the anger of the Lord. This is certainly as true in the New Testament as it was in the Old, as 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 insists: "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you."
Though the Lord reproved Jehoshaphat's being friendly with Ahab, yet at the same time He commended the good things that Jehoshaphat had practised, in removing wooden images from the land and preparing his heart to seek God (v.3). For God delights to encourage godly character, though He must reprove what is contrary to this. Evidently Jehoshaphat received this message without resentment, in contrast to the bad response of his father to Hanani in putting him in prison (ch.16:7-10).
Jehoshaphat's dwelling was in Jerusalem, but he went out to all Judah and Benjamin as far north as the border of Ephraim, with such a message that brought the people back to recognise the God of their fathers (v.4). "Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah" (v.5). He gave them good instruction, urging them to remember they were to judge for God, not for man. They were to be thoroughly impartial, refusing bribes (w. 6-7). All history has shown the obnoxious tendency of judges to stoop to taking bribes to pervert justice.
In Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests as judges in regard to controversies that might arise among the people. Again his instruction to them was vitally important, that they should act in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and with a loyal heart (vv.8-9). If any case of wrongdoing arose, these men were to be quick to discern the evil and to warn the people against it, that they might not be guilty of allowing it to spread and cause the wrath of God to fall (v.10). Also Jehoshaphat called upon the priests and Levites to recognise the authority of Amariah the chief priest and Zebadiah, the ruler of the house of Judah. How important is this matter of recognising proper authority and submitting to it. Israel has suffered from the lack of this recognition and the Church has suffered too from this ailment. Jehoshaphat finished his instructions with the encouraging words, "Behave courageously, and the Lord will be with the good" (v.11).
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 19". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany