affinity with Ahab

2 Chronicles 18:1

18:1 affinity with Ahab. God greatly blessed Jehoshaphat because of his strong spiritual leadership in his kingdom (II Chronicles 17:3-9), but he made the sad mistake of yoking himself together with wicked king Ahab and queen Jezebel of Israel. Furthermore, he continued this alliance with Ahab’s son, the equally wicked king Ahaziah (II Chronicles 20:35). Jehoshaphat’s son and successor Jehoram married Athaliah, the murderous daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (II Chronicles 21:5,6). Jehoshaphat’s compromise with his pagan colleagues may have been well-intentioned (II Chronicles 18:3), but it had tragic results. Jehu rebuked him for it (II Chronicles 19:2), and so did Eliezer the prophet (II Chronicles 20:37). He almost died when Ahab was killed (II Chronicles 18:30-34) and his commercial venture with Ahaziah ended in disaster (II Chronicles 20:35-37). The marriage of his son to Athaliah no doubt contributed to Jehoram’s decision to slay all his brothers when their father died (II Chronicles 21:1-4). Jehoram died eight years later of a loathsome disease (II Chronicles 21:18-20), unloved and unmourned.

Jehoshaphat was a godly king, but God has warned against believers being yoked together with unbelievers (II Corinthians 6:14-18), and the story of Jehoshaphat and his family is a sad illustration of what can happen. Believers today are continually being confronted with temptations to join with unbelievers (marriage, business partnerships, religious alliances, etc.), and such unions are dangerous and often disastrous.

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