Jehoshaphat’s Peace

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: II Kings 9:16-26


I.         King Jehoshaphat, in general, was a good king - I Kings 22:42-43a

            A.        To be said by God that he did right is a high complement

            B.        But, like most men, Jehoshaphat had some character flaws - I Kings 22:43b

                        1.         His father, Asa, had removed many of the high places - II Chronicles 14:1-5

                        2.         Asa did not even let family ties interfere - II Chronicles 15:16

                        3.         But for all his good, Asa wasn’t able to remove all the idols - II Chronicles 15:17

                        4.         Notice, then, that his son Jehoshaphat, though basically a righteous man, did not continue his father’s war on idolatry. He left them there unchallenged.

            C.        Combine this with the second flaw mentioned in the Scriptures and we begin to see the character of Jehoshaphat - I Kings 22:44

II.        Making peace with a neighboring country is a flaw?

            A.        Why, these are fellow Israelites!

                        1.         The country has been divided for decades!

                        2.         Surely we should say that Jehoshaphat has made great strides, accomplishing what no other king before him was able to do.

            B.        The man Jehoshaphat made peace with was Ahab, a severely wicked king - I Kings 16:30-33

                        1.         His wife killed the prophets - I Kings 18:13

                        2.         Jezebel personally supported 850 idolatrous prophets - I Kings 18:19

                        3.         After Elijah slew these evil men, Jezebel vowed vengeance - I Kings 19:1-2

                        4.         It was Jezebel who arranged to have Naboth killed, so that Ahab could expand his gardens - I Kings 21:18-26

                        5.         This was the man with whom Jehoshaphat sought to make peace

            C.        How? By marrying into Ahab’s family - II Chronicles 18:1

                        1.         What a choice of in-laws! Talk about marrying into the wrong family!

                        2.         He arranged to have Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter, Athaliah, marry his son Jehoram

                        3.         No matter what he thought the political alliance might produce, he linked his family to the most morally and spiritually corrupt ruler that Israel ever had.

                        4.         Who do you think influenced whom? - II Kings 8:16-18

            D.        Because of Jehoshaphat’s mistake in treating with evil, he lost his son to evil - II Chronicles 21:5-6

                        1.         Jehoram restored idolatry in Judah - II Chronicles 21:11

                        2.         He murdered his own brothers - II Chronicles 21:12-15

                        3.         After two years he died, and no one bothered to hold a funeral for him, nor would they bury him in a place of honor - II Chronicles 21:18-20

            E.        And his wife, Athaliah? Oh, well, she attempted to kill all her children and grandchildren after her son, Ahaziah was killed by Jehu - II Chronicles 22:10-12

            F.        I’m sure Jehoshaphat never dreamed that such events would be the result of making an alliance with his neighboring king.

III.       Actually, Jehoshaphat went even further - I Kings 22:4

            A.        That proposal nearly cost him his life - I Kings 22:32-33

            B.        Ahab died in that battle, but as Jehoshaphat journeyed home he was met by a prophet of God - II Chronicles 19:1-2

            C.        God’s people have no business making peace with the wicked.

            D.        Even then, Jehoshaphat tried to ally himself with Ahab’s son - II Chronicles 20:35-37

IV.      Contrast Jehoshaphat’s peace makings with the actions of Jehu, selected by God to straighten out the mess in part started by Jehoshaphat

            A.        He was anointed to be the next king of Israel - II Kings 9:1-10

            B.        He zealously took off to accomplish his task. Joram, the current king was in Jezreel recovering from battle wounds - II Kings 9:16-20

                        1.         Notice the question both messengers asked of Jehu, “Is it peace?”

                        2.         Jehu’s response was basically: If you want peace follow me.

            C.        Joram rode out and asked the same question - II Kings 9:21-22

                        1.         Jehu slew both Joram and Judah’s king, Ahaziah, who was up to visit his cousin.

                        2.         No, peace does not come by allowing evil to exist.

            D.        Jehu rode on to Jezreel to confront Jezebel, who interestingly asks sarcastically the same question - II Kings 9:31

                        1.         Zimri had rose up against his master - I Kings 16:9-10

                                    a.         But he managed to only reign seven days before he was in turn killed by Ahab’s father.

                                    b.         Jezebel was taunting Jehu, saying that she expected him to last as long.

                        2.         Jehu didn’t seek peace with Jezebel. He didn’t say, “There has been enough killing for one day.” - II Kings 9:32-33

            E.        Jehu understood there is a time for war and a time for peace - Ecclesiastes 3:3,8

V.        Jehoshaphat was a good man who did much harm because he sought peace with the wrong people

            A.        Christians are warned - James 4:4

            B.        Yes, we are to be peacemakers - Matthew 5:9

            C.        But all peace is not the same or desirable - Matthew 10:34-36

                        1.         And this a statement from the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

            D.        The only worthwhile peace is that found in righteousness

                        1.         The wicked have no peace - Isaiah 57:19-21

                        2.         The righteous cannot gain peace by treating with the wicked - Ephesians 5:11

            E.        The only lasting peace is standing in the ranks of the army of God - Ephesians 6:10-13

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