King Jehoshaphat - Be Careful in Your Choice of Companions: Part 3

Through the mercy of the Lord, it is written of Jehoshaphat that he “returned to his house in peace,” although not without rebuke, for “the son of Hanani went out to meet him,” and put this important question to the erring, if repentant, king, “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord” (2 Chron. 19:2, 32And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. 3Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God. (2 Chronicles 19:2‑3)).
God had been very gracious to Jehoshaphat.
He always is gracious; while rebuking the king, He did not forget that there were “good things” found in him. God in His holiness judges wrongdoing, but does not overlook any good in His people. It is said, “and by Him actions are weighed” (1 Sam. 2:33Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. (1 Samuel 2:3)). God in His grace forgives, but then His ways in government must continue all the same.
Our readers may have heard of the little boy whose conduct so displeased his father, that he said he would drive a nail into a post in the garden every time he was naughty in the future. A considerable number of nails were driven in, alas! After a time, however, a difference became apparent in the boy’s behavior; there were kind acts instead of cruel ones, obedient ways instead of disobedient ones, and the father promised to take a nail out of the post every time that he observed these altered and better actions.
Accordingly, one bright day the happy parent took his boy into the garden to see the last nail taken out of that tell-tale post. The boy was not so pleased as his father expected, and being questioned, he answered, “Father, you have taken away the nails, but you have left all the holes behind!” If the withdrawing of the nails told of the father’s forgiveness, the holes showed where the nails had been. So it was with Jehoshaphat; he “returned to his house in peace,” but “wrath was upon him from before the Lord” for being unequally yoked with the ungodly.
When King David exclaimed, “I have sinned,” the confession was met with “the Lord hath put away thy sin,” but we know if grace puts away the sin, government must decree that the sword shall not depart from the house of David. Repentance to be effectual must be heartfelt, yes, and conscience felt too; and then the fruits of repentance will be seen. Jehoshaphat was now not only desirous of being right with God Himself, but we observe that, he was desirous of bringing back those he had led astray, for had he not said to the ungodly Ahab, “I am as thou art, and my people as thy people, and we will be with thee in the war.” But now “he went out again through the people from Beersheba to Mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers. And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.” This sounds wholesome. Jehoshaphat has learned a deep lesson; he now knows what a valuable thing is the fear of the Lord, and how serious a thing it is to act without the sense of that fear. We fear that a good deal of so-called repentance is very superficial and shallow. It is refreshing to read what the Apostle Paul says of the Corinthians: “For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation.... In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Cor. 7:1111For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:11)).
Have any of our readers lost their first love, or are they in danger of losing it? Or are they un equally yoked with unbelievers? Cry to the Lord, for only He can deliver. Jehoshaphat might have used on his restoration, and after having nearly lost his life through backsliding, the words of the Psalm: “Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands asunder.”
“O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder” (Psa. 107).