2 Chronicles 18:28-34 (Part 1) – Do You Want Some Jehoshaphatian Joy?

Posted: September 5, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 18:28-34 (Part 1 of 2)

The Death of Ahab

Opening Illustration/Comments

In this story Jehoshaphat is really naïve as it would seem to a cynical person. He never seems to question the motives of Ahab. I guess the reason that I feel sorry for Jehoshaphat is that he is just being used by Ahab so that Ahab could get what he wanted. Jehoshaphat should have never trusted Ahab to begin with.

That just reminds me that in life we are forced by the dents that we have acquired in our armor from the actions of others that we become more and more jaded. We go from innocence to cynicism over time. We go from exuberant idealism to cynicism over time. That is why I don’t want to grow up. Jehoshaphat should have been more cynical about Ahab. He had to have known of his reputation as a wily, crafty, evil king. However, Jehoshaphat chose to trust him anyway. I want to be like Jehoshaphat and not be cynical about people, but it inevitably happens, it seems. We get hurt by people. We get a little jaded. We get hurt by people again. We get a little more jaded. Then, sometimes, things you do with the best of intentions or at least with no ill will or malice in your heart, get misinterpreted and you hurt other people. You get a little more jaded. As we move along in life, we become more and more jaded about people such that we lose our joy for living.

The sad thing is that in this world, being the fallen world that it is, people are going to hurt you and you are going to hurt people, either unintentionally or intentionally. It just happens because of us being sin-filled and thus selfish creatures ultimately at our core. There are seven billion souls out there seeking their own self-interest and all these atoms of souls are banging against each other, hurting each other. That’s the reason that the world is such a mess and will get worse til the end of time – the cumulative and current effects of all souls having sinned against each other. Pretty depressing, huh?

However, that’s the thing here this morning, is to make that Jehoshaphatian choice to not lose your joy in a cynical sin-filled world. Joy is a choice. It is that idea of choosing to be joyful that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 18:28-34. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

28 So King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah led their armies against Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.

30 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to his chariot commanders: “Attack only the king of Israel! Don’t bother with anyone else.” 31 So when the Aramean chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat in his royal robes, they went after him. “There is the king of Israel!” they shouted. But Jehoshaphat called out, and the Lord saved him. God helped him by turning the attackers away from him. 32 As soon as the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they stopped chasing him.

33 An Aramean soldier, however, randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. “Turn the horses[a] and get me out of here!” Ahab groaned to the driver of the chariot. “I’m badly wounded!”

34 The battle raged all that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans. In the evening, just as the sun was setting, he died.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Jehoshaphat’s trouble began the moment that he trusted the sly, wily and evil King Ahab. He should have been more cynical about Ahab’s motives. We must always pray about things that our friends or “so-called” friends ask us to do. Are they using us to protect or advance their own self-interests, or are their motives above board and simply need our help. We must consider through prayer how to respond to the requests of others. Does it make sense? Is the end result of their request biblical? These are the questions we need to asking for the Lord’s assistance in. That way, we can maintain our joy if we seek God in prayer about our decisions beforehand. If we are really seeking God, He will reveal to us what we need to know and when we need to know it. In that there is comfort. In that, there is safety for our souls. In that, there is maintained joy.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that in a real, deep, and ongoing relationship with God, we can have joy despite living in sin-filled, self-destructive world. Let us trust in the Lord to reveal to us what need to be revealed. We must seek Him daily and hourly and by the minute in moments of prayer and in ongoing conversations with him each day. Surprisingly, when we do that – have a real, serious, ongoing, intimate relationship with God, it is amazing how He reveals to us things about people that need to be revealed. If more people did that, there would be less hurt between human beings (because we would see the world from not just our own self-interests anymore) and there would be more joy. However, for those who have that intimate relationship with God, there is the ability to have joy in a sin-filled world. We place our trust in the Lord that He will protect us from harm and even in those situations that we define as harm to us that He will guide us through it and will have taught us something from the experience. Don’t you want that kind of joy. That just base-level kind of joy that puts a smile on your face regardless of the situation. The only way to have that is through a real, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.

Amen and Amen.

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