June 30. 2 Chronicles 19-23
We often hear about dysfunctional families. Today we are reading about a dysfunctional family within God’s family. Something that seems a little strange but it is quite possible, through no fault of God. To avoid being “dysfunctional” we simply need to learn from Jehoshaphat’s family, three things to avoid in our life.
Avoid Joining Forces With Those Who Are Evil And Hate The Lord.
And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you. (2 Chronicles 19:2)
Ahab was the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah. Both were the people of the Lord, but Ahab was evil. Obviously, the Lord did not want Jehoshaphat joining forces with Ahab even though they were “related.” The result of the Lord’s wrath is the dysfunction that occurs in His family.
Avoid Falling For The Idea That The Good Outweighs The Bad
And he (Jehoshaphat) walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 20:32)
35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly.
36 And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
37 But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works."
While we are told that Jehoshaphat did a lot that was right in the sight of the Lord, the final words about him are not good. And these last words, before the grand conclusion of him being buried with his fathers in the City of David, lead into three chapters of one family disaster after another, from one generation to the next.
This is the third thing that we learn from this dysfunctional family.
Avoid Believing That What You Do Is Personal And Will Not Affect Your Family
Listen to the words of the prophet Elijah to Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram.
21:12-14 Because you…have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot…and also have killed your brothers…behold, the LORD will strike your people with a serious affliction — your children, your wives, and all your possessions;
How sad when the last words concerning Jehoram’s death are,
“Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret.” (21:20)
And the last words concerning his wife are,
“So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah (his wife) with the sword.” (23:21)
To avoid a dysfunctional family, a very good and simple rule to follow is to learn from, and avoid what others have done to become dysfunctional.