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When We Walk In The Ways Of The Lord...

Have you ever taken a good look at the lives of the kings of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament? You?d be surprised at what you can learn from these guys. Some of our leaders in Washington also need to take a good look at these guys. I know some of the kings were bad, some were good, but this was true of both nations. I want to take a look at one of the good kings in my devotion this week. His name is Jehoshaphat and you can find his story in 2 Chronicles 17-20.

Here?s what we learn about the good King Jehoshaphat. (I don?t know why these guys couldn?t have taken an easier name like, ?Bob?, but his name sounds something like this: Je-ho-sha-fat. ?Bob? sounds a little easier doesn?t it? Anyway, Jehoshaphat was one of the good guys of Judah, which was the southern kingdom. It?s capital was Jerusalem, the capital city established by King David. In fact, King ?Joe? was a relative of David?s. But as I said, he was good, and the reason was because he walked in the ways of his father, Asa, and did what was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chron. 20:32), which were also the ways of ?his father David?, 2 Chron. 17:3. (You might say he was ?twice-removed? in the lineage.) But the result of his walk, was that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat. He didn?t seek other gods, like his counterpart in Israel did, the northern kingdom, but he sought after God and walked according to the words of God. In fact, he so delighted in the Lord?s ways that he removed all the places of worship of the false gods that had been set up in the hills of Judah. He pretty well wiped out all the places where the false gods had been worshiped. Now, this doesn?t mean that Jehoshaphat was completely spotless. He did do a few foolish things and almost lost his life in one of those incidents. (You can read about it in chapter 18.) But all in all, Jehoshaphat sought to please and walk in the ways of the God of his father.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because of the results that it brought, not only in his life, but in the life of his country, Judah. First of all, God established the kingdom of Judah in his hand. (v. 5). In other words, God made the country strong and set it on a solid foundation. No one was going to come and take it out of Jehoshaphat?s hands. And like a city set on a hill for all to see, no kingdom that surrounded Judah dared to attack it, because they saw the Lord?s hand upon it and were afraid to go against Jehoshaphat. (v. 10). Secondly, Jehoshaphat strengthened to country with riches and honor in abundance. (v. 5). The people worked with their hands, talents, skills, and abilities, doing what God had given them the ability to do, and the result of that was that they brought presents and offerings to the king that he used, in turn, to strengthen the land. In this, they brought gifts out of their heart. They weren?t taxed to death by their government. Thirdly, in order to strengthen the land, Jehoshaphat sent his officials, the Levites, and the Priests to go to all the cities of the country to teach them the civil laws and constitution of the kingdom, to instruct them in things pertaining to temple service and rituals, and to lead them in the ways and designs of the religion of their forefathers, the ways of God. So Jehoshaphat led the nation in the ways of their duty to God, to the king, and to each other. They were united ?as one man?, and against a people united in this way, no invading nation could be successful. And the final thing he did was to built fortresses and storage places for his people; he carried out great works in the towns of Judah; and he built his army to a force of over a million men who would follow and stand their ground against any force. But it wasn?t just the strength of his army, nor the love of his people, but the blessings of the Lord God that made Judah and Jehoshaphat strong.

Folks, we?ve got to get back to our moorings, to the foundation upon which this country was made great. We?ve got to throw out all this political correctness mess and return to the God of our forefathers, to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God of our Savior. Nothing else will do.

I close with this illustration that I used in my Sunday School lesson. It concerns a conversation that went on between Norman Cousins, a famous writer, and a Hindu priest named Satis Prasad. Prasad was coming to America to work as a missionary. Cousins asked him if he intended to convert people to the Hindu religion, but Prasad surprised him and said, ?No. I?m coming to convert people to the Christian religion.? Hmmm! It?s time to return, wouldn?t you say?take a look at one of the good kings in my devotion this week. His name is Jehoshaphat and you can find his story in 2 Chronicles 17-20.

Here?s what we learn about the good King Jehoshaphat. (I don?t know why these guys couldn?t have taken an easier name like, ?Bob?, but his name sounds something like this: Je-ho-sha-fat. ?Bob? sounds a little easier doesn?t it? Anyway, Jehoshaphat was one of the good guys of Judah, which was the southern kingdom. It?s capital was Jerusalem, the capital city established by King David. In fact, King ?Joe? was a relative of David?s. But as I said, he was good, and the reason was because he walked in the ways of his father, Asa, and did what was right in the sight of the Lord (2 Chron. 20:32), which were also the ways of ?his father David?, 2 Chron. 17:3. (You might say he was ?twice-removed? in the lineage.) But the result of his walk, was that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat. He didn?t seek other gods, like his counterpart in Israel did, the northern kingdom, but he sought after God and walked according to the words of God. In fact, he so delighted in the Lord?s ways that he removed all the places of worship of the false gods that had been set up in the hills of Judah. He pretty well wiped out all the places where the false gods had been worshiped. Now, this doesn?t mean that Jehoshaphat was completely spotless. He did do a few foolish things and almost lost his life in one of those incidents. (You can read about it in chapter 18.) But all in all, Jehoshaphat sought to please and walk in the ways of the God of his father.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because of the results that it brought, not only in his life, but in the life of his country, Judah. First of all, God established the kingdom of Judah in his hand. (v. 5). In other words, God made the country strong and set it on a solid foundation. No one was going to come and take it out of Jehoshaphat?s hands. And like a city set on a hill for all to see, no kingdom that surrounded Judah dared to attack it, because they saw the Lord?s hand upon it and were afraid to go against Jehoshaphat. (v. 10). Secondly, Jehoshaphat strengthened to country with riches and honor in abundance. (v. 5). The people worked with their hands, talents, skills, and abilities, doing what God had given them the ability to do, and the result of that was that they brought presents and offerings to the king that he used, in turn, to strengthen the land. In this, they brought gifts out of their heart. They weren?t taxed to death by their government. Thirdly, in order to strengthen the land, Jehoshaphat sent his officials, the Levites, and the Priests to go to all the cities of the country to teach them the civil laws and constitution of the kingdom, to instruct them in things pertaining to temple service and rituals, and to lead them in the ways and designs of the religion of their forefathers, the ways of God. So Jehoshaphat led the nation in the ways of their duty to God, to the king, and to each other. They were united ?as one man?, and against a people united in this way, no invading nation could be successful. And the final thing he did was to built fortresses and storage places for his people; he carried out great works in the towns of Judah; and he built his army to a force of over a million men who would follow and stand their ground against any force. But it wasn?t just the strength of his army, nor the love of his people, but the blessings of the Lord God that made Judah and Jehoshaphat strong.

Folks, we?ve got to get back to our moorings, to the foundation upon which this country was made great. We?ve got to throw out all this political correctness mess and return to the God of our forefathers, to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God of our Savior. Nothing else will do.

I close with this illustration that I used in my Sunday School lesson. It concerns a conversation that went on between Norman Cousins, a famous writer, and a Hindu priest named Satis Prasad. Prasad was coming to America to work as a missionary. Cousins asked him if he intended to convert people to the Hindu religion, but Prasad surprised him and said, ?No. I?m coming to convert people to the Christian religion.? Hmmm! It?s time to return, wouldn?t you say?

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