I’m trying something new today: reading the section of Scripture that we’ll look at today. You can download an mp3 on 2 Chron. 17-19 to listen here: files.me.com/parklinscomb/mrm3w6.mp3. Please let me know in the comments below, if you find this helpful. If so, I’ll continue; if not, I won’t. 🙂
Today’s reading mostly about Jehoshaphat. One of Judah’s good kings.
Taking great pride in the ways of the LORD — To our shame 21st century Christians often do not take great pride in the ways of the LORD. We more often feel semi-apologetic about being a Christian, having a higher moral standard, having a steadfast hope, being certain about the spiritual realities found in the Bible. No small wonder that our evangelistic numbers are what they are. We’ve concluded in many places that people are far more interested in entertainment than the wonderful Gospel, so since that’s what the people want, that’s what we seek to give them. Shame on us! The Gospel is truly wonderful! Ask any new convert! If I were a betting man, I would bet that we’d have many, many more converts to the LORD, if only we took a little more pride in the ways of the LORD. Say it loud and say it proud, if you’re a Christian!
Sending out teachers — Finally, someone was taking the importance of teaching the law seriously. True there had been smatterings of teachings here and there, but Jehoshaphat seems to be approaching the whole thing quite systematically. Ignorance was spiritually killing God’s people and nation. It’s hard to get people to obey laws that they aren’t aware exist. This is the importance of teaching Bible in our homes, reading the Bible privately, Bible classes in our churches, Bible Bowls for our children, and Bible-based sermons. As a matter of history, and somewhat in connection to the latest false prophecy about the end of the world, in 1841 churches of Christ were many and large. It was known generally as the Christian Connection. A similar movement existed at the same time (the Restoration Movement) in the midwest. The Christian Connection was more “revivalistic” (emotions and enthusiasm ruled the day). The Restoration Movement, led by Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone, was a bit more cerebral and text based. In the late 1830’s a certain John Miller preached the imminent coming of Jesus, and set a date for 1841. Many sold farms and gave away possession and climbed hilltops on the designated day — only to be disappointed (known as the “Great Disappointment”). Churches emptied out quickly as duped farmers had to move west for new farms and start over. You’d think they have known about Matt. 24:36, but because they were more revivalistic they didn’t. The Restoration Movement did know Matt. 24:36 and didn’t fall for Miller’s folly. Bible knowledge is important.
Should you help the wicked? — Now on the face of it, it sounds like the LORD is contradicting the command to love our enemies — but He’s not. The command to love in the Bible is teaching us that we should always act in the best interests of others. What Jehoshaphat did is “enable” the wicked to do what he (Ahab) wanted to do. In legal circles, we’d call it “aiding and abetting”, and we must be careful of this ourselves. This is especially so when it comes to people we love. Such “aiding and abetting” (e.g., helping our child move in with his/her lover [not spouse], buying another bottle for an alcoholic father, getting birth control for our daughter) isn’t real love, it is the dysfunctional enabling people to destroy their souls. That was Jehoshaphat’s mistake. God forgave him, but let him know (19:2) that He didn’t appreciate it — and we could easily bring wrath on ourselves from the LORD, too, in the same way.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.