I spoke tonight in church on King Jehoshaphat. What a great example for us as we move into a new year. Good examples of role models are hard enough to find – not many in media or popular culture. Though not perfect, he’s got some good lessons for us. He was grandson of Abijah, who had 14 wives and 38 children. His dad was Asa, who died from disease in the feet. Jehoshaphat became king of Judah at 35 and reigned for 25 years. Here was the key to his life......
“In his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel”
(2 Chron. 17 vv 3,4)
This became the default position of his life – not consulting the false gods nor following the bad practices of the Israelites but instead seeking God and following his commands. For Jehoshaphat it did not matter what others did, he made it his guiding principle to seek God and listen to him.
Here’s what this meant for Jeshoshaphat.........
“He did not know what was going to happen but he knew
what he would do when it did”
So years later when the kingdom was being severely threatened by the Moabites and Ammonites what did Jehoshaphat do? He went to his default position - “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD” (20 v3) He proclaimed a fast, gathered the people together and led them in prayer “We do not know what to do but our eyes are upon you” (20 v 12) His influence on others was considerable – his prayer was simple, direct, honest and full of trust.
There are some powerful lessons here for us for 2013.
1. Determine to be different – listen to God , follow his commands, don’t be tempted to consult the false gods of the 21st C or the practices of those who don’t live godly lives
2. Think about your default position – is it panic? Is it fear? Or is it simple trust
3. You do not know what will happen in 2013 – but do you know what you will do when it does?
4. Remember your influence – use it wisely
Happy new year. May we all be God-honouring, Christ-centred and Spirit-filled.