"Jehoshaphat's Return from
Battle. [1 - 4]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 19:1"And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem."
In II Chronicles 18:19-27 the prophet from the Lord told Ahab that if he went to battle, and followed the lying spirits of the 400 prophets of Baal, that he would die on the battle field, and the men would return home in peace. An arrow from a random flight found its way to the space between Ahab's armor, and he went was killed. While Ahab rode tied to his chariot in the final minutes of his life, Jehoshaphat ran for his life.. When the men of Syria caught up with Jehoshaphat and saw who he was, they let him go, so Jehoshaphat and his men returned to their home in peace in Jerusalem; just as the prophet Micaiah said it would be in I Kings 22:28; "And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me." And He said, "Hearken every one of you." " Ahab lay dead on the battle field at the close of the day.
II Chronicles 19:2 "And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord?"
We read in I Kings 16:1 that Jehu, the son of Hanani had reproved Baasha, king of Israel, at Tirzah.
I Kings 16:1, 2 "Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,"  "Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over My People Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made My People Israel to sin, to provoke Me to anger with their sins;" 
When Baasha became king over Israel, he took the nation of Israel right down the same path that Jeroboam did, with the worship of Baal, and the idolatry of the two golden calves. This stirred God to anger, and Jeho was told by God to go to Baasha and give him this message.
I Kings 16:3, 4 "Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat."  "Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the aior eat." 
In other words, God is telling Baasha that he will be killed just as the offspring of Jeroboam were killed and the throne uprooted. Baasha came to power when he killed Nebad, the son of Jeroboam, and this is exactly how Baasha's throne will end; in the murder of Baasha and his sons. Those that die in the cities will be eaten by the dogs, and those that die in the country side will be eaten by the fowls of the air. This came to pass exactly as Jehu prophesied it would.
Now here Jehu is in the city of Jerusalem at the arrival of Jehoshaphat, as he return from the war with Syria. Jehu is now going to reprove Jehoshaphat for the wickedness that he allowed himself to get into; first by going against Micaiah the prophet of God, and binding Judah to Israel in the war, and also by allowing his children to marry into Ahab's wicked family, the children of Ahab and Jezebel. We will see in chapter 21 that this wife that Jehoshaphat allowed his son Jehoram to marry will turn him into a very wicked king, murdering all his brethren, and turning Judah to idolatry.
"Shouldest thou..." gives emphasis that Jehovah our God is not pleased with the alliances that he made with Ahab and his idolatrous people. Jehu let it be known that he had better get involved with good works, and get back on the right path that he started out in. Jehu has been right on in all of his prophecies in the past.
II Chronicles 19:3 "Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God."
Jehoshaphat had the warning and he saw what happened the last time he listened to false prophets and went against what the prophet of God said. Jehu ends the warning by reminding him of how he pleased the Lord God when he first took over his kingdom. Would Jehoshaphat learn from his mistakes?
II Chronicles 19:4 "And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the People for Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers."
Jehoshaphat went from the extreme south of his kingdom, Beer-sheba, to the extreme northern city of Judah; "and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers." Mount Ephraim is the hill country on the northern end of Judah.
II Chronicles 19:5 "And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cites of Judah, city by city."
Jehoshaphat set the law back into the minds of the people, and with the law came the judges to judge the people when they violated that law. City by city that law was put put into force, and guided the minds of the people. This is exactly how God expected His people to live with his neighbor, and to trust and obey their God.
When our Lord Jesus Christ started His ministry, He stated within that sermon that He did not come to change one jot or tittle of the law, but to fulfill the law.
Matthew 5:19 "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
The law teaches us to put God first in our lives, and to treat our neighbor as we would have him treat you. Then after Jesus restated all the commandments of the Law, He put a guide for all of us to follow.
Matthew 5:43, 44 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, `Thou shalt love thy neighbor,' and `hate thine enemy.' "  "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" 
This is Christ's advise as to the way we are to live our lives. Jesus set the pattern for the way that He expects you and I to live, if we present our selves to the world as Christians. Sure it's hard, and as humans we fail every day, but that is why there is forgiveness at the cross when we repent in Jesus name.
Matthew 5:45, 46 "That ye may be the children of your Father Which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."  "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?" 
God created each and ever soul that exists, whether in heaven or here on earth. He desires that none should perish but should come to know the truth of God's Word; but that will not happen. Why? Because God also gave each soul the right to chose Him or follow the devil. This you do by your daily living of your life.
Each and every soul must pass through this earth age of flesh man, and enter it through the womb of it's mother [through the water]. For this is what is called being "born again", or more directly, "born from above". Each and ever day we all face the same problems in life, and most of those problems are caused by ourselves, or those of our family, friends, or those that have control over us. Yet the sun comes up and goes down. The rains come and rain on good and bad alike, and life goes on for there is nothing new under the sun. And it all of this, God expects those that are His to follow the set of rules or laws that He gave to specifically guide our lives when living in our families and communities. Those rules are called the law, and the ten commandments are a specific part of the law. This law is the part that each judge is assigned to judge, as Jehoshaphat assigns these judges to each city.
Remember that it is God's law, and when you judge by that law you must be fair and committed to the letter of the law, as given to Moses. Today we have a slide rule law, where by each time a judge gives a decision, it become a new law: called the law of precedence. Whereby all judgments following that ruling of a similar nature are set by that first judge's ruling. However God is requiring each of those that call themselves Christians, to follow the laws of God.
II Chronicles 19:6 "And said to the judges, "Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, Who is with you in the judgment."
God gave the law to His people way back in the wilderness, about six hundred and fifty years prior to this time of Jehoshaphat. The people had come to fall away from the law in that six hundred years. During the time of Solomon, the nation had allowed all sorts of idols and heathen religious practices to enter into the land, and even take the high places for their grove worship. In time the Israelites took part in these wicked acts; and by this time of Joshaphaphat these practices were fairly common.
Now Jehoshaphat is placing those laws of God back into the minds of the people, and then setting up judges to enforce those laws when they are violated.
II Chronicles 19:7 "Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."
It's to bad that the judges of today can't learn the lesson that Jehoshaphat put into the hearts of his judges. This is also the basis of our constitution of America, for there should be no iniquity in their minds with the Lord God, they should be pure and honest in their judgments. There should be no respecter of persons, yet today if there is enough money floating at the judgment table, the results can move one way or the other. Jehoshaphat made sure that no judge would be taking of bribes in their decisions.
II Chronicles 19:8 "Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgement of the Lord and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem."
This deals with Deuteronomy 17:13-15; And all the people shall hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously."  "When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, `I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;' "  "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother." 
This is one thing that Jehoshaphat assigned to the Levites and priests, to make sure that those that were appointed to rule over them, whether judges or kings, they were to be of their own people. Remember that Jehoshaphat had brought in a kenite woman to marry his son Jehoram, and a Kenite man to marry his daughter. His daughter would be the wife of the king in Israel, and his son to take the throne in Judah. This was the basis of his concern, that when he passed on, Jehoram would take the throne.
II Chronicles 19:9 "And he charged them, saying, "Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart."
Sure these Levites and priests would see to it that Jehoram would take the throne, but when they do, they will have place a murder and fornicator on the throne of Judah.
II Chronicles 19:10 "And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandments, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the Lord and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass."
Jehoshaphat is warning these priests of that which David warned in Psalms 19:11; "Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: And in keeping of them thee is great reward." Of the twenty two time these warning are given, fifteen are in the book of Ezekiel. God promised David that his lineage would always be on the throne over Israel, and Jehoshaphat is just one link in that chain of kings. We know in England today that it is the church of England that puts their king or queen on the throne, and the first duty of that Royal person on the throne is the protector of the faith. Many times those kings and queens have lost sight of their duty, just as Jehoshaphat and his son Jehoram did, but this still is a reminder to the spiritual leaders of that nation, or any of God's people, of God's order given through Moses.
II Chronicles 19:11 "And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good."
Amariah was the fifth high priest from Zadok, just as Jehoshaphat was the fifth king from David. The kings are over the running of the affairs of the nation, the appointing of leaders within the land, and overseeing the army. However the Levites and priests were appointed to be the spiritual leaders over the people of Judah. They were the teachers, and counselors of affairs between men. They were the ones that saw to the matters of records keeping, and offerings of sacrifices and offerings to the Lord at the Temple.
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