Imagine this: You’re walking on a path through an unfamiliar forest. The path seems to split. The trail to the left looks well-traveled, but you almost didn’t notice the trail to the right because it is so overgrown with bushes. Which trail do you take? Of course, you take the well-traveled trail. But what if your guidebook says to go right?
King Jehoshaphat had the same thing happen to him, but on a much larger scale. He had to choose between choosing the policies that almost every king before him had chosen and choosing an old policy that almost no one followed. What did King Jehoshaphat choose?
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 and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel.
2 Chronicles 17:3-4
Almost every king before him had chosen to either reject the Lord altogether, or had chosen a nominal, cultural religion, but weren’t completely committed. King Jehoshaphat, knowing his decision would be an unpopular one, chose to take the road less traveled. He decided that if he was going to worship the God of Abraham, he would go all out in worshiping Him. The author of the Chronicles goes on to say that “His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord” (verse 6). He didn’t care what the rest of his country thought. He had decided that both he and his entire kingdom would be trained to serve the Lord.
What great things did Jehoshaphat do that were courageous? This chapter lists two. First, “he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah” (verse 6). The high places were areas in the hills dedicated to the worship of other gods. The previous kings—even the “good” kings—had not taken these down, probably because they didn’t want to face the people who worshiped there, and because they were far away. The Asherim were poles on which people places offerings to a Canaanite god named Asherah.
The other courageous thing Jehoshaphat did was that “he sent his officials . . . to teach in the cities of Judah; . . . And they taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the Lord with them” (verses 7, 9). It’s one thing to be dedicated to God on your own, but sharing that faith with others takes courage, and unfortunately it is a road less traveled.
What can you do today to be courageous in the ways of the Lord? How can you show the world that you live for Christ alone?
Timmy Baze 😀
Scripture portions used in this devotional were taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.