Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 17:1-19. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 17:3-4 (ESV) 3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel.
On verses 1-4: Jehoshaphat takes over from his father Asa as king of Judah. Notice why the Lord was with Jehoshaphat: “because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father” (v3-4). The fact that verse 3 mentions “the earlier ways of his father” suggests that his father was not faithful to the Lord all his life, but only in his earlier years. Jehoshaphat had the wisdom and discernment to sift through the lives of those who came before him, learning and applying the good things he saw in them while avoiding their mistakes and bad habits. Likewise, if you want to maximize God’s power and anointing on your life, learn and apply the good things you see from those who came before you, while at the same time consciously avoiding their mistakes or bad habits.
2 Chronicles 17:5-6 (NIV) 5 The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. 6 His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.
On verses 5-6: No matter how many gifts, wealth and honor Jehoshaphat received, Jehoshaphat’s heart remained devoted to the Lord. What can we learn from this? Enjoy the gifts God gives, but always keep your heart centered on the Giver.
2 Chronicles 17:7-9 (NIV) 7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. 8 With them were certain Levites–Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah–and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.
On verses 7-9: To help the Israelites know God better and love God more, Jehoshaphat sends officials, Levites and priests throughout the towns of Judah to teach the law of the Lord. What can we learn from this? A big part of discipleship is learning the word of God. If you want to know God better and love God more, be a serious student of God’s Word.
2 Chronicles 17:10-13 (ESV) 10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats. 12 And Jehoshaphat grew steadily greater. He built in Judah fortresses and store cities, 13 and he had large supplies in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem.
On verses 10-19: As Jehoshaphat keeps his heart centered on the Lord, as he seeks God’s kingdom first, God adds to him other blessings, like the favour and friendship of neighboring nations (v10-11) as well as increasing numbers of fortresses, store cities, supplies and soldiers (v12-13). What can we learn from this? When you seek God’s kingdom first above all else, He adds everything else you need and expands your territory.
Heavenly Father, may my heart not be fixated on the gifts I have, but on You, the One who gives every good gift (James 1:17). Thank You that, like Jehoshaphat, when I seek Your kingdom first, You will add everything I need and expand my territory. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!