Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you. – 2Chr. 19:2 NIV
Please click the link above to download the full text of this Ministration.
King Asa of Judah probably could not believe that merely approaching a co-king in the person of King Ben-hadad, king of Aram who was reigning in Damascus, for help to ward off the threat posed by Baasha, king of Israel, was sufficient to incur the wrath of Jehovah, so when Hanani relayed a message from the Lord to him, stating the anger of the Lord towards him, for seeking a solution that brought him what he saw as success, he chose to imprison him and everyone else who attempted to convince him, on the authenticity of the message. He eventually died the death of the unfaithful, as he stopped seeking the Lord even in his sickness, but instead, preferred to seek the help of the physicians, and was succeeded by his son, Jehoshaphat – 2Chr.16:1-14.
Jehoshaphat, like his fore-fathers, Rehoboam and Asa, also re-enforced the defenses of Judah against enemies, especially Israel – 11:5-12; 14:1-8; 2Chr. 17:1-2. He also did more than his fore-fathers did, with regards to ensuring that the people remained faithful to the Lord, by removing the high places and the Asherah poles – 2Chr. 17:3-6. His faithfulness to Jehovah earned him His support as Jehovah established the kingdom of Judah under the control of Jehoshaphat, who became very wealthy because the Almighty God made all his enemies to be at peace with him, so much so that they brought him gifts – Prov. 16:7. The fear of the Almighty God also made the surrounding nations avoid battling the people of Judah and this further brought peace to Judah – 2Chr. 17:7-19. The additional knowledge gained by the people through the sending of teachers of the law to teach the laws of God in all the towns and cities of Judah, further helped to improve their level of faithfulness to Jehovah as it helped to improve their knowledge of His requirements and better grant them access to His goodness – 2Chr. 19:4-11.
Like it is the case with most human beings who are enjoying peace and comfort, Jehoshaphat, for reasons best known to him decided, not only to pick a wife from the family of Ahab, who was the king in Israel (2Chr. 18:1-2), but also decided to join their king, whom the Almighty God had earmarked for destruction, in going to fight a war. He had erroneously associated himself with people that Jehovah was against, asserting that they were the same – 2Chr. 18:3-4. They were simply not the same!
By virtue of Grace, he was saved from inheriting the death that was prepared for King Ahab of Israel by Jehovah (2Chr. 18:18-34), which would have been a deserved punishment for his act of indiscretion, when he decided to associate with a wicked person. The decision of Jehovah to mitigate this punishment was revealed in a message sent through Jehu the Seer, who was the son of Hanani. As revealed in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, he had almost brought the wrath of the Lord on himself for opting to;
- Help the wicked.
- Love those who hate the Lord.
This punishment was however averted when his good acts of ridding the land of Asherah poles and his heart that is set on seeking the Lord was taken into consideration – 2Chr. 18:30-32.
Hmmmmm. So the one who has set his heart on seeking God can still make errors of judgement. For one who held nothing back in showing his love for Jehovah and ensured that all his people remained faithful to Him, one would have thought that he was above such errors of judgement that could attract the wrath of God, but YES! He did err. According to the scripture, he,
- Helped the wicked. Most Christians and their leaders today are destroyed because they committed similar errors but did not enjoy the Grace that Jehoshahat enjoyed. In an act that seemed to them that they were helping a brother, probably a Christian brother, they were actually helping someone who the Lord had declared as wicked. It should be clear to the one that intends to render help that attempts to save someone from a situation that is the result of punishment from the Lord, will be seen by Jehovah as an attempt to save the wicked. It is a clear way of declaring the Almighty God as unjust with such positioning him/her self as one who cares more than Jehovah cares – Judges 2:1-3. No one who claims to love the Lord will attempt to save the one whom Jehovah has chosen to punish or destroy. To help such in any form whatsoever is to support the action which Jehovah has chosen to punish. Jehoshaphat may be related to Ahab, but that relationship ceased to exist the minute Ahab chose to get involved in acts that are deemed to be wickedness by Jehovah. Christians need to show caution in whom they offer support, even with prayers, as help rendered in such circumstances is not limited to physical actions alone. Knowing the position of Jehovah before offering that proposed support, will help to guide the true believer from finding him/her self in situations similar to that of Jehoshaphat. Sometimes, the helper of the wicked may find him/her self more guilty than the one who is already known for acts of wickedness. Avoid helping the wicked!
- Loved those who hate the Lord. Indeed, the scriptures advise that we love our neighbour as ourselves, but it is not possible to include those who do not love Jehovah in this group. The one who loves God will observe all his instructions – Jn. 14:15; 21. It is simply impossible to claim to love God and still love His enemies, just as all those who have rejected the Lord and his instructions can safely be classified as enemies of God. The true Christian should not be found in love relationships with such people. Though they are not to be avoided, yet they cannot be classed as friends. There simply cannot be a love relationship between light and darkness – 2Cor. 6:14. The one who is not with God should never be seen as the friend of the Christian. Jesus Christ and the Pharisees did continue to worship in the same temple, but there was always no love lost between them. Jehoshaphat had no business picking a wife from unfaithful Israel, more so, from the family their wicked king, but even if he had successfully kept his wife on the religious leash, he went too far, when he claimed that his people who were very faithful to Jehovah, were the same as the people of Israel, who had turned their back on the Lord, courtesy of the actions of all their kings – 2Chr. 15:3-6. It should not be about human blood relationships, but about the true relationship that was facilitated by the blood of the lamb. The one that is not with God, is simply put, against God, as in these issues, there is no sitting on the fence – Matt. 12:30.
Jehoshaphat was lucky as his good works was sufficient to mitigate his situation and save him from untimely death, but the Christian today cannot continue to bank on that Grace, as none is sure about the acceptance or otherwise of all those works. Only the Almighty God will decide that, but until then, it will be too much of a risk to assume that they will be sufficient to provide similar Grace for the one who breaks these twin rules. It may be better to take the more pro-active step of avoiding the rendering of help to the wicked and loving those who hate Jehovah. That remains the best way to avoid regrets that will accompany the sudden death that many have already found themselves in today.
Indeed, many spiritual leaders have lost all their spiritual relevance, due to moves that are similar to the two listed above, with all their physical and spiritual exploits being referred to in the past tense, when they are still living. They can best be described as dead, because they inherited or shared in the death earmarked for another, due to their acts of indiscretion, in rendering help to the wicked and loving the enemies of God. May God grant us the wisdom to render help with the appropriate discretion in Jesus name. Amen.