An old friend of mine sometimes used the expression, “If you run with the wolves, you will howl like them.” When I first heard it, I wasn’t sure how it applied to us as individuals. I started to realize he was referring to the business we keep and how it can affect us. A little like “Bad company corrupts good morals”.
This is a very important principle for us as individuals to apply in our lives and to teach our children as well. We could also apply that to immoral women, prostitutes, or an adulterous woman. Proverbs 7: 25-27 says, “Do not turn away from his ways, do not stray in his paths; for she has slain many wounded – her home is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.
In our study today, I want to focus on Jehoshaphat and some of the things he did. In our next article, we’ll take a look at some of the bad choices he made and the evil people he got involved with. Jehoshaphat was a good king who walked in the old ways of his father David, II Chronicles 17: 3. He reformed and brought the people of Judah back to the true God. He sent masters all over the country to teach the “Book of the Law of the Lord”. God established him as king and blessed his efforts. He gave him abundant riches and honors, “And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the land which were round about Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat,” II Chronicles 17:11.
I think most of us would consider the reign of David or Solomon to be the most glorious time for the nation of Israel. David was king over all the tribes of Israel; the kingdom was not yet divided. David’s fighters (including Judah) numbered 1,670,000. He (Jehoshaphat) had a fighting force of over 1,160,000 men from just two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, II Chronicles 17: 14-19.
In II Chronicles 18: 1, it is said that Jehoshaphat had riches and honors in abundance; although God gave him riches, he never allowed them to control his heart and mind. He kept God first in all of his thoughts and plans. He seems to be one of the most God-fearing and sane kings mentioned in the Bible. Even more than David, Solomon, Asa or Uzziah.
The key to his success is found in II Chronicles 6: 1, “And his heart rejoiced in the ways of the Lord. “ Jehoshaphat had a world view with God and his glory at the center of it all. No matter whether it was the marriage, the army, the riches or the well-being of his people, he chose to serve God with all his heart.
Are we doing things with God at the center? Or are we doing things with ourselves as the main benefactor? Are we doing good deeds to make others think highly of us when we really are self-centered hypocrites? This is a good question that we all need to think about. Does your heart rejoice in the ways of the Lord?
Comments or questions, contact me at: [email protected]
Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has written about faith and family for many years. He has self-published three books, “Common Thoughts on the Word” in 2016 and “The eye of a needle” in 2017 and “Common Thoughts on the Word II” in 2019. He also published articles in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and wrote a children’s book.