Winners and Losers: Part 7 - Jehoshaphat

Jehoshaphat: A Good Man Who Tried To Fellowship With Darkness

Kathy's Sunday School Lessons Written for Young Boys and Girls by Kathryn Capoccia

© Copyright Kathryn Capoccia 2001. This file may be freely copied, printed out, and distributed as long
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Jehoshaphat was a man who, in his early years, “sought the God of his father [Asa], followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did” (2CH 17:4), and “took great pride in the ways of the LORD” (2CH 17:6). He lived in a time following an era of constant conflict with the northern kingdom of Israel. Most of the poor decisions in his latter years deal with conciliation’s with Israel. He never saw the profound schism between his kingdom, which was following God, and the kingdom of Israel, which was steeped in idolatry: what he apparently saw was that both kingdoms originally came from the same source and he desired to see them reconciled in fellowship. This attitude, however, brought about God’s wrath upon Jehoshaphat.

I. Who Was He? (2CH 17-20, 22:9; 2KI 22:41-50, 17:1-20:37)

A. What was his name? His name means “Jehovah judges”

B. Who were his people?

1. he was a Jew of the kingdom of Judah; he was of David’s royal line- the line of succession is, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat (MAT 1:6-8).

2. his father was King Asa, who had reigned over Judah for 46 years and had been jealous for God: he had commanded Judah to seek God, had torn down the high places and incense altars from the cities of Judah, had removed the foreign altars and high places, and had torn down the sacred pillars and Asherath poles. He had fortified cities and built a large army and saw God deliver Judah from the Ethiopians but under other trials had trusted men and not God (2CH 14-16).

3. his mother was Azubah, daughter of Shilhi (“armed of the LORD”): she was married to Asa and it was she who and Asa who taught Jehoshaphat to be “doing right in the sight of the LORD” (2CH 20:31,32; 1KI 22:42)

C. When did he live? He was the 6th king of Judah, the 4th after the division into two kingdoms. He lived from 908 B.C. to 849 B.C.. He began ruling at the age of 35 and ruled for 25 years, from 873-849 B.C.. His reign was concurrent with the Omride dynasty of Israel: Omri, Ahab, Ahazaiah, and Jehoram (this dynasty ended with Jehoram’s death at the hands of Jehu: 2KI 9, 10). The prophets Elijah and Elisha prophesied during his reign.

D. Where did he live? He lived in Jerusalem in Judah

II. What Did He Do?

A. He acted wisely

1. he made military preparations: “in time of peace prepare war”

a. he stationed troops in all of the fortified cities of Judah (2CH 17:1)

b. he put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim previously captured by King Asa (2CH 17:2)

c. he built large store cities and forts in Judah (2CH 17:12,13)

d. he mustered an army of 1,160,000 warriors (2CH 17:14-19)

2. he revived the Mosiac covenant

a. he walked in the ways of David (2CH 17:3-6)

1) he did not consult the Baals

2) he sought to know and follow God’s commands

3) his heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD

b. he removed the high places and Asherath poles of paganism (2CH 17:6)

c. he sent 5 officials and 11 Levites and priests throughout Judah to teach the people the Law (2CH 17:7-9)

d. he appointed godly judges to administer justice in the land (2CH 19:5)

e. he personally went into the country of Beersheba and Ephraim and turned the people back to the LORD (2CH 19:4)

f. he rid the land of the male shrine prostitutes remaining in the land (1KI 22:46)

B. He enjoyed the fruits of righteousness

1. the LORD established Jehoshaphat’s control of his kingdom (2CH 17:5)

2. Judah had peace with the surrounding kingdoms because the fear of the LORD was upon them (2CH 17:10)

PRO 16:7, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”

3. Jehoshaphat prospered

a. he grew rich: tribute was brought to Jehoshaphat by the Philistines and Arabians (2CH 17:11)

1) the Philistines brought gifts and silver

2) the Arabians brought flocks of 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats

b. Jehoshaphat had honor (2CH 18:1)

4. Judah was miraculously delivered from an invasion by the Moabites, Ammonites, and the Meunites (2CH 20:1-28)

a. a great multitude, including families, invaded the land of Judah to dispossess the Jews (2CH 20:1,2)

b. Jehoshaphat and Judah humbled themselves before God and fasted and prayed for deliverance (2CH 20:1-13)

c. God promised that “the battle is not yours but God’s” (2CH 20:14-17)

1) the people of Judah held an anticipatory worship service on the morning of the battle

2) the enemy began to attack and kill one another until there were no survivors

3) Judah gathered up the spoils of the battle for three days



Worship of God and peace (2CH 20:28-30)

C. He acted foolishly

The constant round of wars with Israel that Asa had conducted was expensive in money and men: Jehoshaphat began new policies to stem this drain.

1. He initiated a policy of conciliation with Israel

a. he made a peace alliance with Ahab, king of Israel (2CH 18:1)


1) he was the son of Omri, king of Israel, who arranged his marriage to Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians

2) through the influence of Jezebel he introduced Baal worship into Israel and he became a murderer and persecutor of true worshipers

b. he took Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah, as wife for his son, Jehoram (2CH 18:1)

EXO 34:16, “And when you choose some of their [idolaters’] daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same”.

DEU 7:3,4, “You shall not intermarry with them [idolaters]; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods…”

1) this introduced the poisonous idolatry of the north into the royal family (2CH 21:6)

2) this introduced a woman into the royal family, Athaliah, who would nearly exterminate the royal line upon the death of her son, Ahaziah, so that she could rule (she killed all the royal offspring except prince Joash, who was rescued by his nurse and hidden: 2CH 22:10-12)

2. He introduced intimate relations with Israel

a. he made a military alliance with Israel (2CH 18; 1KI 22:3-4)

2CO 6:15,16 “What has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?”

a) this was expensive in treasure and manhood for Ahab’s wars (1KI 22; 2CH 18)

b) this was expensive for Jehoram’s, son of Ahab, wars

c) this was dangerous to Jehoshaphat personally (2CH 18:28-32; 1KI 22:29-33)


GOD REBUKED JEHOSHAPHAT, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this the wrath of the LORD is upon you” (2CH 19:2.)

*An invading army came to dispossess Judah but by exercising faith Jehoshaphat and Judah were delivered (2CH 20).

b. he made a commercial alliance with Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, King of Israel (2CH 20:35-37)

2CO 6:14, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

1) this agreement called upon Jehoshaphat to jointly construct a fleet of trading ships with Israel to go to Ophir for gold (1KI 22:48)

2) this venture was cursed by God and the ships were destroyed at Ezion Geber before they could sail (1KI 22:48)


HE WAS A WINNER PERSONALLY: 2CH 20:32, “And he walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD.”


1. he did not root out idolatry in his land:

a. the people kept “the high places”

b. the people did not “set their hearts upon the God of their fathers (2CH 20:33)

2. his alliances with Israel were costly for Judah

a. Judah suffered financially through the war support of Israel and the naval venture with her.

b. Judah would suffer spiritually through the introduction of Baal worship by Athaliah

c. the house of David would suffer through the slaughter of Amaziah’s offspring by Athaliah


III. What Can We Learn From Him?

A. God honors those who honor Him.

B. The people of God cannot have intimate relationships with unbelievers without incurring God’s displeasure or wrath, and harm to themselves through that association.

C. Any partnership like the E.C.T. (Evangelicals and Catholics Together), the ecumenical movement, a marriage, etc., which mixes believers with unbelievers in a strong bond violates Scripture and is sin.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Kathy Capoccia's Sunday School Lessons for Young Adults" by:

Tony Capoccia
Bible Bulletin Board
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