The great-great grandson of King Solomon and the son of Asa. A king that was deeply committed to the ways of the Lord. He sought God and obeyed his commands like the early years of his father's reign.
He was a military strategist - he fortified the cities and ensured security of captured towns. He instituted religious education for all the people which brought their heart close to God. The reward was the establishment of his kingdom to the extent that even his enemies – the Philistines and the Syrians brought him gifts instead of war. He enjoyed great riches and the high esteem of the people.
In the big decisions, Jehoshaphat did not hesitate to consult God but when it came to day to day issues, he leaned on his own understanding, maybe he felt these were too small to bother God with?
He made an alliance with the northern kingdom by allowing his son to marry the wicked daughter of the house. He was nearly killed in a battle that was not his own because of this alliance. God saved him by turning the attackers away from him. For this foolish act, he was rebuked by God, 'why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?'
Jehoshaphat did not learn the first time, he let family sentiments clouded his judgement when he went into an ill-conceived business with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. Because of this, the Lord destroyed the business and it did not succeed.
Leaders, God is interested in every detail of your leadership. Commit all decisions to Him not just the ‘big’ ones. As a godly leader, any partnership that is not of the Lord, especially with wicked people will not succeed.
Jehoshaphat became an evangelist king, travelling from one end of his kingdom to the other, encouraging the people to return to the Lord. He appointed judges and he charged them to think carefully before pronouncing judgement, they should not judge to please people but God, to fear God and judge with integrity. His act of reverence and obedience to his Leader, brought civil and spiritual order.
Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.” 2 Chronicles 19:5-7
Leaders turn their people away from sin and to God. They set laws, policies and standard that puts God in the centre. When leaders start eradicating the teaching about God from all facets of the society, they are laying the foundation for spiritual decay in the society
When the nation was faced with disaster, the king ran to God. He ordered the people to fast and seek the Lord's help. The result was one of the most astonishing victories in the history of the Israelites. A nation going to war was singing and rejoicing; and the armies of the enemies started fighting and killing each other!
What a testimony to end a glorious leadership.
How are you leading as the salt of the earth and the light of the world? Is God at the centre of your decisions, partnerships, policies and laws? Does your leadership lead people away from their sin and turn their heart to God?