The couple were both receiving home health care. The visiting nurse insisted they be weighed. They lined up and he stepped on – one foot and then the other. The nurse dutifully recorded his weight.
His wife stepped on – one foot and then the other and another number went into the chart. Then Bambi, their Chihuahua followed – one foot and then the other.
Jehoshaphat like Bambi was looking for an example to follow.
He became King of Judah about 873 BC. At 35 years of age, he needed a few pointers on being a king. So, he looked for an example from the past.
He grew up watching his father Asa rule the nation. Asa chased immorality and idolatry out of the land. But in his older years he was afflicted with a diseased body that also diseased his faith. He sought the help of doctors while ignoring the Lord.
Jehoshaphat’s granddaddy was Abijah. He was mighty in battle but mediocre in his faith. His epitaph is written in 1 Kings 15:3, “He followed all the sinful practices of his father before him. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had been.” Abijah followed the poor example of his daddy Rehoboam and paid dearly for it.
As for Rehoboam, he was famous for carelessly splitting his Kingdom. He fought off an Egyptian invasion but ignored the insurgence of paganism. His epitaph was written in 2 Chronicles 12:14, “He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord.”
His daddy was Solomon who was revered for his wisdom and yet was foolish enough to marry a stadium full of wives and serve their gods. “Solomon did evil in the Lord’s sight; he did not remain loyal to the Lord, as his father David had.” – 1 Kings 11:6
This brings us to the head of the dynasty – King David. David followed the Lord with the deepest devotion and ruled the Kingdom by the truth of the Scripture.
His reign was summed up in this way, “David had done what he (God) approved and had not disregarded any of his commandments his entire lifetime, except for the incident involving Uriah the Hittite.” – 1 King 15:5.
So, Jehoshaphat climbed up 5 generations of his family tree to find an example worthy of emulation Of him it was said, “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps at the beginning of his reign. He did not seek the Baals, but instead sought the God of his ancestors and obeyed his commands, unlike the Israelites. The Lord made his kingdom secure; all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he became very wealthy and greatly respected. He was committed to following the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 17:3-6)
Like David, Jehoshaphat tore down the idols and elevated the Lord. As a result, “The Lord was with him.” “The Lord made his kingdom secure” and “He became very wealthy and greatly respected.”
Ironically, Jehoshaphat’s predecessors were indicted for ignoring David’s example? Neither did they prosper as Jehoshaphat did.
Jehoshaphat imitated David but he was smart enough to also learn from and avoid his mistakes. There was no Bathsheba scandal to mar his reign.
Now to bring this home: The apostle Paul was referring to the OT stories of Jehoshaphat and others when he wrote, “These things happened to them as examples and were written for our instruction…” – 1 Corinthians 10:11.
So…. basically, Jehoshaphat is an example of a man who followed the example of a man to teach us to find a man to be our example. (could be a woman though)
Think of life as Youtube and look for the how-to video that God posted. Find an older person who did life God’s way. What did they think and do, and what kind of results did they experience? You might even ask him/her to mentor you.
Watch and learn. Make Bambi proud!
A PRAYER: Lord I am grateful for the folks that have taught me how to live.
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
All Scripture references are from the NET Bible ®