Don’t Jump Like Jehoshaphat
“Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” He answered him, “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.” 2 Chronicles 18:3 (ESV)
There was time in American life where the phrase “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat” had been in use. I think when I was a kid I may have heard hit on the TV (F-Troop comes to mind) when it was still a black and white world without any idea of HDMI or High Definition. The phrase can be traced back to Mayne Reid’s novel “The Headless Horseman” written in 1866 but it might just go back a bit further. Maybe back before the Ten Tribes of Israel had been carted off into captivity. Maybe around a time when the people of Judah watched as King Jehoshaphat jumped from doing the very will of YHVH to aligning himself with the wicked kings like Ahab and Ahaziah.
We get introduced to King Jehoshaphat in 2Chronicles 17:1 and 1Kings 15:24. For the most part he is a man of YHVH and we know this by what we can see in the text of 2Chronicles 17. The first thing we can see is he just may a king who will cry out to YHVH, we know this because he is of the house of David, the great-great-grandson I do believe (if this isn’t right…eh, I tried). David is known for crying out to his God. Another thing we glean is that Jehoshaphat delights in the ways of YHVH because he removes those high altars of the Baals. And then he sends many men of YHVH to go out and teach the people the very things of YHVH he himself delights in. Not Too Shabby!!
And by 18th chapter of 2Chronicles Jehoshaphat jumps, not so much physically but certainly spiritually. He makes two of the three worldly alliances he is known for with Ahab, first by an arranged marriage between his son and Ahab’s daughter then by helping Ahab with his army against the occupiers of Ramoth-gilead. That military campaign goes bad for Ahab so Jehoshaphat jumps back to the safety of Jerusalem, having learned his lesson it was back to the things of YHVH. But before his death he will make his third worldly alliance with Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, in a commercial boat building venture that a prophet named Eliezer exclaims, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” And the boating business sinks to the bottom of the waters…Not Too Smart!!
In the 19th chapter there was a real “tell it like is” from a guy like Jehu and by the 20th chapter Jehoshaphat was getting his reign back on track and vertically aligned. Which leads me to think how we all need a Jehu in our lives to say, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?” We tend to think that we can take a step backwards and help those that God leaves behind in our lives and I think this is what Jehoshaphat is thinking. We think that helping out those left behind is an okay thing so we’ll jump into something that is clearly ungodly, take our place with Elohim for granted and have to run back to Him for safety. Praise Him that He will…but not without consequence.
If there was anyone who understood what it meant to run back to the safety of Him who is able it was Peter. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10) When Peter gets outta the boat to meet with Jesus on the shore after the Crucifixion I wonder if it could have been Jehoshaphat as well or me or you? None the matter of who it is coming out the boat it’s Who is on the shore that makes the difference. I think we’ll be jumpin’ like Jehoshaphat every so often but for those of us who name the Name above all names we will find comfort, rest and a healthy breakfast waiting for us, all established ahead of time by Him who is worthy to be called El Elyon! Amen? Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger
Think About This: “Another reason why Christians know Christ and God so little is that we want things instead of God. We are more interested in the gift than the giver. God wants to us Himself. God wants to impart Himself with His gift. Separated from God, the gift is dangerous.”—A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20