Jehoshaphat is richly blessed by the Lord, but he then goes and marries his heir to Ahab’s daughter Athaliah, a worshipper of Baal – despite God’s explicit prohibition. Athaliah eventually murdered all but one of Jehoshaphat’s great-grandchildren.
Here is Jehoshaphat, a man who sets his heart to seek God (19 v3), and yet he foolishly follows Ahab and stubbornly refuses the wisdom given by the prophets of the Lord.
You would think that on hearing the open window into heavenly spiritual politics (18 v18-22) Jehoshaphat would have thought twice about going to war with Ahab.
Even before that the words spoken, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd.” 18 v16
Sometimes we can be pretty stubborn in refusing God’s wisdom. In forgetting our first love. We still set our hearts to follow the Lord, but we return to the vomit of our old selves. Even though we are alive in Christ, we often choose folly, like Jehoshaphat did.
It is good to be reminded of our need to always and ever turn to the Lord. At work, at home, out and about, in the quiet times – to seek the Lord, to guard our ways according to His word, to store up His word in our hearts, to declare His rules and delight in His testimonies.
Psalm 119 v9-16 are a bulwark against folly. Jehoshaphat is a reminder of our need for God’s power in our lives, for His regeneration in our hearts, and for His wisdom to be our delight.