King Jehoshaphats Bad Judgment
Escaping from the bloody battle of Ramoth-gilead, the prophetJehu reproached him for the course he had been pursuing, whereupon he entered with rigour on his former course of opposition to all idolatry, and of deepening interest in the worship of God and in the righteous government of the people .
Again he entered into an alliance with Ahaziah, the king of Israel, for the purpose of carrying on maritime commerce with Ophir. But the fleet that was then equipped at Ezion-gaber was speedily wrecked.
Strata: The Bible In The News: Did Jehoshaphat Really Jump
Quick question: Who was Jehoshaphat? Quick answer: A ninth-century B.C.E. king of Judah, popularly known also as Jehosaphat.
Follow-up question: Why has he often been described as jumping?
For a follow-up answer, we turn to Londons Daily Mail: Around the middle of the 19th century, his name was used in the United States as a mild oath, a euphemism for Jehovah or Jesus. The expression Jumping Jehoshaphat is first recorded in 1866 in Headless Horseman, an adventure tale set in Texas by British author Mayne Reidbut it is probably older.
But was Jehoshaphat indeed known for his jumping ability? No, according to Londons Guardian newspaper: The phrase was used for alliterative effect, rather than because there is any record of his leaping about the place.
Hold on. Not so fast. In a Washington Post story titled Leaps of Faith: Praise Dancing Gets Foothold in Area Churches, Reverend Betty Peebles, senior pastor at the Jericho City of Praise, is quoted as stating that praise dancers originated in the Bible with King Jehoshaphat under attack. According to Reverend Peebles, God told Jehoshaphat, Dont carry any weapons into battle just get yourself some praise dancers, citing a story about the king from 2 Chronicles 20
Knowing Our Great God Should Direct Our Prayers
There are two things to see here:
A. In our prayers we should not only seek answers to our problems, but we should seek God Himself.
Note verse 3: Jehoshaphat … turned his attention to seek the Lord. Verse 4 states that the people not only sought help from the Lord, but also that they sought the Lord. This was nothing new for Jehoshaphat. He is described as a king who sought the God of his father . The Hebrew word seek means, literally, to trample under foot, to beat a path to God because you frequent that way so often. Its significant that in Jehoshaphats prayer, the first four verses focus on God Himself finally, in the last three verses he gets around to mentioning the problem. But even in mentioning the problem, God is prominent.
This is at the heart of the current controversy over the role of psychology in the church. Is God Himself, His indwelling Spirit, and His Word sufficient for a believer in the crises of life, or must we turn to the worlds therapies and techniques to enable us to cope? Incredibly, many Christian psychologists say that God and His Word are not sufficient we need psychotherapy!
B. In our prayers we should seek God as revealed in His Word.
Next he recites Gods actions : You drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and You gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever. He reminds God of His covenant to hear the prayers of His people when they cry to Him in their distress .
How Did Jehoshaphat Die
King Jehoshaphat led a mostly prosperous life. He improved the military and financial prowess of the southern kingdom. More importantly, he undid the pagan rituals and monuments other kings who came before him had practiced and worshipped. He did have the best of intentions, only skewing wayward when it came to friendships. But how did he die, if God protected him in the war in which Ahab drew him into?
The Bible doesnt really say, but we can assume he died of old age. Wait a minute! He died at 60? Thats old? Indeed, in ancient times, life expectancies didnt really exceed much beyond the age of 50. We can assume, from the lack of gory details, that he ended his life in peace and passed away from natural causes.
This is significant if we compare this with how many other Israelite kings passed away. Many died in battle, or as is the case with King Asa, due to a painful foot disease. Considering Jehoshaphat lived for a long time, according to the standards of his day, this meant that God really wanted him to rule for a long period of time. Because this king had God’s interests at heart, for the most part, his reign was prosperous.
What Lessons Do We Learn From His Story
- Reforms begin with creating a good environment for spiritual growth. And this comes by removing all things that can tempt us, just as Jehoshaphat removed idols throughout Judah.
- True reforms in our lives come through study of Gods word and obedience to His commands.
- Courts of justice can serve the people best if the leaders judge according to godly principles.
- It is good to come together for prayers and fasting when faced by difficulties.
- True prosperity comes from believing in God and His prophets.
The story of Jehoshaphat provides lessons about dependence on God, believing his word and obeying it. If we are faced with difficulties as individuals, families or as a nation, we can turn to Him and He will deliver us from our crisis no matter how tough it may be.
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Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab
18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.2 Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead.3 Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?
Jehoshaphat replied, I am as you are, and my people as your people we will join you in the war.4 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, First seek the counsel of the Lord.
5 So the king of Israel brought together the prophetsfour hundred menand asked them, Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?
Go, they answered, for God will give it into the kings hand.
6 But Jehoshaphat asked, Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?
7 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.
The king should not say such a thing, Jehoshaphat replied.
8 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.
11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious, they said, for the Lord will give it into the kings hand.
13 But Micaiah said, As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.
Who Was King Jehoshaphat In Old Testament
Jehoshaphat was the son of Asa and fourth king of Judah . His mother was Azubah . Jehoshaphat reigned with his father Asa for a period before his fathers death . And his children included Jehoram, who succeeded him as king.
Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years from 873 to 848 BC . He spent the first years of his rule strengthening his kingdom against the Kingdom of Israel. And the neighboring nations feared Judah and brought it tribute .
Jehoshaphats reforms against idolatry
Jehoshaphats godly zeal in overturning the idolatrous worship of the high places is praised in 2 Chronicles 17:6. In the third year of his reign Jehoshaphat appointed priests and Levites over his land to teach people Gods law according to Deuteronomy 31:1013. Jehoshaphat made reforms and set fair judges throughout the land to settle disputes among his subjects . For his devotion to God, his reign was blessed with peace and prosperity. Yet, there were still high places that had not been taken away .
Jehoshaphats unwise alliance with wicked Ahab
1 Kings 22:4150 and 2 Chronicles 20:3537 tell us of another alliance between Israel and Judah for trade of gold with Ophir. Jehoshaphat wanted to unite with Ahab, but God warned him through a prophet. And the Lord God judged him and the fleet was destroyed. Thus, Jehoshaphats unwise investment with Ahaziah was fruitless.
In His service,
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The Allied Forces Of The Amorites Moabites And Other Tribes Invade His Territory And Are Defeated By
- 2 Chronicles 20 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. …
Where Is The Valley Of Jehoshaphat
Joel 3:2: I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.
Joel 3:12Let the nations be roused let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.
It appears to be a judgment ground for any nation who came up against Gods people, in a plot of land situated between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives or Kidron Valley. Theologians have squabbled over this issue for centuries, and since the passage in Joel is prophetic in nature, we cant definitely say we know what it means. But the Valley of Jehoshaphat does seem to be a judgment stomping ground for the enemies of Gods people. This makes sense given Jehoshaphats very name has judgment in the definition.
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Who Was Jehoshaphat Anyway
Everywhere and Nowhere: The Story of the Amalekites
We spent a long time talking about one specific prayer of his, so letâs zoom out and look at him in context.
Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel after it split. He was the son of Asa, son of Abijah, son of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, son of David. That makes him Solomonâs great-great-grandson, and Davidâs great-great-great-grandson. His story is told in 1 Kings 22:41â50 and 2 Chronicles 17:1â21:1.
He reigned for twenty-five years, from the time he was thirty-five until he died . Thatâs about 872â848 BC1, depending on how you count time2. He likely spent the first few years ruling alongside his father Asa after Asa contracted a severe foot disease as a punishment from God , and he apparently served alongside his son Jehoram for the last few years of his life3.
While Jehoshaphat was on the throne in the south, three successive kings ruled in the north: Ahab , Ahaziah, and Joram4. Southern kings tended to rule a lot longer than northern kings, because northern kings so often offended God and were punished for it. Jehoshaphatâs father Asa outlasted seven northern kings.
This period was also the period of Elijah and Elisha. They were both prophets to the northern kingdom, but Jehoshaphat had the opportunity to hear from Elisha once before a war against the Moabites . He never met Elijah, but Elijah did send his son Jehoram a letter âa terrifying letter. More on that later.
Key Verse Related To Josaphat
Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard andand said: Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.
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Joins Jehoram King Of Israel In An Invasion Of The Land Of Moab Defeats The Moabites
- 2 Kings 3 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2 And he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made. 3 Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin he departed not therefrom. 4 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. …
King Jehoshaphat Reigns In Judah
Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, was 35 years old when he began to reign and he reigned in Jerusalem for 25 years. When he assumed the throne, he strengthened himself against Israel. He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured. God was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. Therefore God established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to King Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.His heart was courageous in the ways of God. And moreover, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.
In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Nethanel, Zechariah, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Asahel, Zebadiah, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Tobijah, Adonijah, and Tobadonijah and with these Levites, the priests Elishama and Jehoram. And they taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the Lord with them. They went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.
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History Of King Jehoshaphat
Father:King Asa, 2 Chronicles 20:31Mother: Azubah, 2 Chronicles 20:31Predecessor:King Asa, 2 Chronicles 17:1Succession: 4th kingSuccessor: King Jehoram of Judah, 2 Chronicles 21:1Age when made king: 35 years, 2 Chronicles 20:31Kingdom: Kingdom of JudahReign: 873 BC 849 BCAge when he died: 60 yearsMorality: good, 2 Chronicles 17:3Biblical history: 2 Chronicles 17, 18, 19, 20
A Lesson From King Jehoshaphat
Have you ever been reading in one of the books of Kings or Chronicles and wondered what in the world was going on? Maybe like me, you get lost, at times, in the kings of the divided kingdoms and know that you need to spend more time setting all that straight in your mind.But every so often, I find that even after being saved for more than thirty years and reading through the Bible several times, that same chapter, verse, or principle just jumps off the page and grabs me like never before! This, my friend, is the wonderful nature of the Living Word we have in our possession today.Paul said it this way in Romans 11:33: O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! It is like digging for treasure every time we open Gods Word. Lets look at one of these treasure passages I found recently in 2 Chronicles 20. set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all JudahLife Application Study Bible
And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 2 Chronicles 20:13
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Lessons To Be Learned From Jehoshaphat
We can learn a great deal from this Old Testament king who we sadly do not learn enough about in Sunday school classes or in sermons.
First of all, the king shows us that we all can make mistakes of judgment. Scripture tells us to exercise discernment, especially with those in whom we place our trust. Jehoshaphat made a bad alliance with King Ahab, one of the most wicked kings in Israels history. Although Jehoshaphat didnt die from the friendship, he made a massive mistake by trusting the wrong person.
Secondly, Jehoshaphat teaches us the importance of breaking the familial cycle of mistakes. Although Asa didnt worship the idols placed throughout Judah, he didnt do a whole lot to tear them down. Jehoshaphat starts the process by getting rid of Asherah poles.
Finally, Jehoshaphat shows us that God can start new parts of his plan for our lives at any time. Jehoshaphats life was half over by the time he took the throne, but that didnt stop God from moving in his life. He accomplishes a great deal in the last 25 years of his life, ushering Israel into a time of prosperity and military fortitude.
Jehoshaphat may have needed a lesson on how to make smart political alliances. After all, the dangerous one he made almost got him killed. But we also know that only some good kings came from the Kingdom of Judah, Jehoshaphat being one of them. We may not name our children after this king, but we can certainly look to his example and his trust in God during his reign.