2 Chronicles 17-20 relates the reign of King Jehoshaphat over the Southern Kingdom. He was a godly king who sought the Lord and did much to encourage the people he led to also seek the Lord. You will do well by carefully reading this account to learn what is involved in seeking the Lord.
When Jehoshaphat and his country came under attack by overwhelming foes (20:1-2), his response and action of seeking the Lord’s help (20:3-13; unlike his father Asa, cf. 16:1-10) and praising God on the basis of His promises in spite of the circumstance (20:18-21) provide believers today with an excellent model to imitate and follow. Live by faith, not by sight!
Sadly, Jehoshaphat established alliances with the wicked King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom (18:1-34) and later with Ahaziah (20:35), thus soiling his testimony and endangering those he was responsible to lead.
Perhaps the thing that began such compromise was a failure in his own personal life–a marriage alliance with King Ahab’s daughter (18:1). It is a tragic fact that failures in personal separation often and if persisted in can inevitably lead to failures in more formal aspects of separation. 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 is a passage that we must believe and practice–“Do not be bound together with unbelievers…“
Maybe Jehoshaphat committed these actions by saying, “The Bible doesn’t say that I can’t do this specific action; it only says that I can’t make alliances with ungodly nations. Sure we have differences with the Northern Kingdom, but after all, they are our flesh and blood.” This rationalizing happens too often today with those who, under the guise of “sticking to the Bible,” say that because Scripture does not specifically address something they have the right to pursue that course of action.
If this was the case, it didn’t excuse anything. In fact, it demonstrated a failure of wisdom on Jehoshaphat’s part–
Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? (19:2)
Let’s beware of compromising our testimony by either a willful “turning the other way” or real blind spots in our lives. Let’s strive to be wise in every area of life, bringing each part into full compliance with seeking the Lord.