Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the example of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. During his reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 1 Kings 22:43-44
Jehoshaphat had a heart that was open and to the Lord. He made great strides in promoting the ways of the Lord in Judah, but the text for today reveals a serious flaw in his character. Jehoshaphat was a people pleaser as evidenced by the fact that he kept making friends with the wicked kings of Israel. He should not have schmoozed with Ahab and Jezebel who brought more wickedness and idolatry to Israel than anyone before them. Jehoshaphat did not remove the high places of idolatry in Judah because it would have made him too unpopular with the people. Jehoshaphat met his end at the hands of Jehu who was commissioned by God to bring judgment on the house of Ahab. Jehoshaphat was visiting Ahab’s son Ahaz and Jehu decided to kill them both.
God wants us to be salt and light without compromising our values. The gospel can be sweet to the mouth, but there is a bitter part of dying daily our sinful desires. Standing firm for truth will never make us popular, but we must not add to the problem by being rude and unloving about it. I walked my dog around my neighborhood last evening and was convicted to wish two men of color a happy Father’s Day and a happy Juneteenth. The second part of my salutation brought a smile to them both as I followed it with God bless you. You see, I will not allow politics from either side of the aisle stop me from being kind to others. We have been set free from the slavery of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and I am glad that we can celebrate the emancipation of slavery in our country. May God bless us as we commit to being the salt and light of Jesus without compromising truth by people-pleasing in these last days. AMEN.