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We arrive now in the history of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah to the record concerning Jehoshaphat the son of Asa. He hath a prosperous reign. He appointeth teachers in Judah. An account of his greatness.
The account here given of Jeoshaphat's prudence in strengthening himself in his kingdom, is far less interesting than what is said of him, of his walking in the counsel of the Lord. The most lovely feature in every character is that of grace. How truly becoming is it; since we owe everything we have to the Lord, that the bountiful giver should have, if but as tenants of such a Lord, the just rent of his own property.
And Reader! do observe how the Lord's blessing is sure to accompany such conduct. Our God will never be backward; but be always before hand in rewarding the services of his creatures. Though he needs nothing from them, and indeed strictly speaking it is of his own they offer, yet he is graciously pleased to make himself debtor to his creatures, and to accept that as a gift which from them is indeed a just debt.
I do not recollect a more beautiful representation given of any of the kings of Israel anywhere, than what is here given of Jehoshaphat in his sending forth teachers to bring his subjects acquainted with the law of the Lord. The teachers also are highly spoken of, in that when they went forth to instruct, their teaching was concerning the Lord; for it is said that they had the book of the law of the Lord with them. In the present hour ministers of Jesus should never be without their Bibles, for this is their authority by which they may establish the truths which they teach; and put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
It plainly proves how much the Lord approved of Jehoshaphat's instructing the people, for he suffered no interruption to the pious work to take place from the nations around.
It is more than probable these presents were to preserve peace, for the greatness of Jehoshaphat made him formidable, and the fear of the Lord had fallen upon the countries around.
When we behold Jehoshaphat, and his court, and army, his teachers, among the princes and the schools, which he had established through his kingdom, we are led to conclude that Judah, during his reign must have been in a state of great happiness and prosperity. That sweet song which David sung in his days might have been sung by Jehoshaphat in his. For it was the same Lord which giveth salvation unto kings that delivered him, as well as David, from the peril of the sword. Happy is the people that is in such a case; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord. Psalms 144:15 .
IT is highly gratifying in the perusal of the word of God, when we behold his servants zealous for his honor, and making his glory the first object of their concern. And however, in different ages of the church, and under the different dispensations of the Old Testament scripture or the New, we behold various characters, still it is precious to remark how the children of the Lord have all one family feature in their knowledge and love of him. Begotten by the same Father; purchased by the same Redeemer; and brought under the influence of the same Spirit; they are adopted into the same sonship, and are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. The image of the Lord they are changed into by grace; they are impressed with it, for it is engraven on their foreheads, and the Spirit of the Lord is in their hearts. So that everything concerning them becomes precious and interesting. God their Father marked them for his own from everlasting; and in the person of his dear Son he chose them and loved them from all eternity. And in time he hath provided for all their wants, and watches over them with thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give them an expected end. God the Son received them from his Father as his gift, and by becoming their husband, head, and surety, made them the purchase of his blood, and became interested in all that concerned them, through time to all eternity. And God the Spirit graciously undertook in his blessed office-work to bring them savingly acquainted with the Father, and with Christ, and make them the willing subjects of his grace in the day of his power. So that from the united mercy, love, and blessing, of the sacred three in one, their minds, like Jehoshaphat's, are secretly inclined to the love, and reverence, and obedience, and faith of God in Christ. They desire to love what the Lord loves, and to hate what the Lord hates. They pray to be brought into an holy conformity to his will in all things. Jesus is precious, his word, his ordinances, his laws, his people. And while they take delight in whatever tends to the promotion of the Redeemer's glory, they feel distress in whatever brings dishonour to his most holy name or his word. Reader! are these, more or less, in all ages the real characters of God's people? let your heart and mine see to it then that we have such testimonies of our adoption and sonship.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 17". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20