“And such as violate the covenant he shall pervert and seduce with flatteries, but the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God]” (Daniel 11:32, Amp).
Royal but Fierce (6): King Jehoshaphat
Feat. Counselor T
Jehoshaphat was a man who chose God. He cleansed his land of all forms of idolatry.
King Jehoshaphat was royal in the sight of God and was very fierce in tackling actions against his creator.
The bible in 2 Chronicles 17:3–6 tells us that “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The Lord established the kingdom under his control, and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord;
When Jehoshaphat took over the throne, he quickly established himself as a righteous ruler who feared the Lord. He was devoted to God in his heart and his actions. His love for God greatly benefited the kingdom of Judah. The people’s hearts were turned from the false worship of Baal that was present in the land during his time in power. Because of his actions, God strengthened the nation of Judah so that no one would dare to attack them for many years. Judah’s foreign enemies also sent them gifts and paid tribute to avoid going to war with Jehoshaphat.
He was a king who strengthened Judah militarily by building an army and many forts. He campaigned against idolatry and for the renewed worship of the One True God. He educated the people in God’s laws with traveling teachers. Jehoshaphat solidified peace between Israel and Judah.
The Bible says that the fear of the Lord was on the nations that surrounded Judah, and this caused them to treat Judah with love and respect. Since God had made the other nations fear Judah, Jehoshaphat was able to build up forts and strengthen his military forces.
Crucial lessons to be learned in the life of King Jehoshaphat:
1. He was a king that gained the trust of his people through accountability
2. He was a worshiper
3. He was bold and courageous
4. He feared God
5. He was faithful and did what was right before the Lord
6. He was prayerful, always seeking God’s face at all times.
7. His strength was in the Lord
8. He was wise and had the spirit of discernment.
As a king, Jehoshaphat provides three examples of godly leadership.
1. Godly leaders unite, instead of divide.
King Ahab was far from a godly man; perhaps like someone who left the faith. Nonetheless, Jehoshaphat sees that they are neighbors, originally of the same covenant, and brothers. Godly leaders recognize the greater good and seek to quell division. As Jesus stated, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” (Matthew 5:9). Israel and Judah had been at war for generations—Jehoshaphat desired to see them unite.
Ahab was an interesting character to say the least. As the Scriptures reveal, “Ahab did more to provoke the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33). Yet, when Ahab humbled himself, God saw his heart and delivered him (1 Kings 21:29). It was most likely Ahab’s evil wife, Jezebel who had led him astray. Regardless, Jehoshaphat considered Ahab a brother. Godly leaders are peacemakers—they know how to bring unity.
2. Godly leaders seek prayer first.
Ahab’s appeal to convince Jehoshaphat to engage his enemy does not undermine Jehoshaphat’s faith. A godly leader knows that God orders his steps and is content with walking in those steps.
Jehoshaphat displays the importance of making godly decisions. In leadership, whenever involved in an uncertainty, seeking the Lord becomes essential. Jehoshaphat illustrates that all things should be brought to the Lord first—especially in relation to life changing decisions that involve the welfare of others. Godly leaders seek God.
3. Godly leaders pursue wisdom & discernment.
Ahab knows Jehoshaphat is a godly man—his intention is to sway Jehoshaphat’s decision for war, by bringing in “prophets.” However, Jehoshaphat uses discernment and wisdom. Jehoshaphat notices that something isn’t right about the so-called “prophets.”
Whether Jehoshaphat visibly observed something or not, he had a spiritual feeling, his decision employed wisdom and discernment. Jehoshaphat asked Ahab, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?” Out of 400 prophets—Jehoshaphat didn’t trust any? As it happened in the end, Jehoshaphat’s discernment was correct. Jehoshaphat’s example conveys that godly leaders make decisions based upon wisdom and discernment—not upon the status quo or popular choice. Godliness is not about popularity or platform, but God’s will.
Jehoshaphat’s story relates well to leadership. Even though everyone may desire a certain outcome, it does not mean that it’s the right one. Godly leaders must not discard discernment and wisdom for approval, admiration, or popularity.
Godly leadership will always ask, “Can we take time to pray about this?” James 1:5 declares, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Godly leaders are expected to lead believers in spiritual growth and health-seeking God in prayer should always be the priority.
Apostle Paul proclaimed, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18). Godly leaders should be peacemakers. Godly leaders, like Jehoshaphat, view the importance of unity more than division.
Conclusively, the next time you’re about to make decisions as a leader, thinking about Jehoshaphat: unite people, pray first, and use wisdom. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom.
God bless you and give you the strength needed to discern, Amen!