Faltering Foolishness Later in Life

The records of the kings of Judah contain several accounts of kings who are faithful to God in their early days, but veer off course in their latter days (read in II Chronicles about Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Uzziah). The Chronicler is warning his readers against a similar faltering and wavering spirit as they age, and we would do well to heed that warning also.

Consider Jehoshaphat: II Chronicles 17 depicts a good and godly reign, with attendant blessing from the Lord. But chapter 18 begins thus: “Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab.” You can see the Chronicler smacking his head in disbelief: “Fool! Idiot! All the ways God has blessed you, and this is they way you act in response?” At Ahab’s war council, Jehoshaphat does desire to seek from a prophet of Yahweh, but he doesn’t heed that prophet’s counsel. Then he agrees to Ahab’s strategy: “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes” – Jehoshaphat’s folly is to the point of endangering his life. Fortunately, God has mercy on this fool, and when he cries out to Him for help, God hears and answers his prayer (II Chron. 18:31). The prophet Jehu confronted him over his wicked ways, declaring, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate Yahweh and so bring wrath on yourself from Yahweh?” By God’s grace Jehoshaphat repented of his sin and folly, bringing the people back to Yahweh as well (II Chron. 19:4).

Jehoshaphat stands as a great warning of folly later in late, as well as repentance in the face of such  folly. May we who stand take heed lest we fall; and let us pray for grace to remain steadfast all our days, only increasing in our love for Christ Jesus our Savior.



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