-In The Eyes Of The Lord!
Over and over, in the Old Testament books of the Chronicles & the Kings, the authors identify each new king as “good” or “evil”— this king “…did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord” and that king “…did what was good in the eyes of the Lord.” As I read it I find myself asking, “what makes a good king good?” In what way does the text describe him that would cause God to declare him “good”? In fact, the Scriptures often do tell us what good kings do; and, in turn, we find for ourselves a godly example to follow! In His Word, God does tell us, often, to follow the godly examples of those individuals who are being led well, by the Spirit, to follow Jesus!
-Imitate Me As I Imitate Christ!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth, “Be followers of me, even as I follow Christ” 1 Corinthians 11:1. Some of your translations say, “IMITATE me as I IMITATE Christ.” And, that’s NOT prideful as some unbelievers have claimed! That’s actually humility! That’s a disciple, of Christ, helping other disciples follow Jesus well! There’s another godly example, to follow, in Israel’s “good” King Jehoshaphat! His story is mostly told in 2 Chronicles, chapters 17-20. In summarizing his reign, as king of Judah, it says, “…he did what was right in the LORD’S sight” (ch 20, v. 32). So, what did he do that that statement would be his legacy? What does it look like to live your life in such a way that God would declare, “…he did what was right in My sight”? I hope to answer that question over my next couple posts!
-Dependence On God For Everything!
What we find is this general principle: “God calls the life ‘good’ that depends on what God can do & not what you can do.” It was the pattern of King Jehoshaphat’s life to live in utter dependence on God for everything! That was his manner of life. And, while he didn’t live that out perfectly, no one does! We’re all broken and depraved! But, he modeled a dependence on God both in his victories; and, in his failures! Here’s what Scripture says about him: “Now the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the former ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals but sought the God of his father and walked by His commands, not according to the practices of Israel. So the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. Then all Judah brought him tribute, and he had riches and honor in abundance. His mind rejoiced in the Lord’s ways, and he again removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah” 2 Chronicles 17:3ff. What encouraging words!
-He Sought His Father’s God!
After reading all the horrible stories of so many of Israel & Judah’s kings, before him, Jehoshaphat is like a breath of fresh air entering your lungs, isn’t he? So, what made him a good king? The writer is inspired, by God’s Spirt, to write that, “…he followed in the ways of his good father…” And, the reference is 1st to King David, isn’t it? Interestingly, it says, “…he walked in the FORMER WAYS of his father David…” What does that mean? Literally, it means, “…the FIRST WAYS of his father David…” BEFORE his sexual sin with Bathsheba! And, then it refers to his father, Asa: “…he sought the God of his father…” David was his great grandfather 5 generations back; and, Asa was his biological father! I think it’s worth noting that following in the ways of your father is not common among sons! But, to Jehoshaphat’s credit, he obeyed the Word of God—he HONORED his father! And, he recognized & appreciated his godly heritage! A great quality!