Take Heed When God Disciplines You
by Sue Cronk
30 April 2021« Previous Day | Next Day »
One of the things that I really appreciate about God’s word is that it ‘tells it how it is’, when recording the lives of the heroes and heroines of faith. In fact, it lays out their lives for all to see – the good, the bad and the plain ugly. Such is the life of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. He loved God deeply and is remembered as one of the more righteous kings that ruled, but like you and I, he made his mistakes and even repeated some twice. We read about this in 2 Chronicles, Chapters 18-20. God continued to show mercy to Jehoshaphat but also disciplined him, as only a good Heavenly Father can and should.
In Chapter 18 we read that righteous King Jehoshaphat makes an ungodly alliance with wicked King Ahab, through marriage and by agreeing to join him in battle. Before the battle took place, a prophet of God called Micaiah had already prophesied the futility of the venture, but both kings proceeded, nevertheless. The King of Israel was wounded by a stray arrow and bled to death in his chariot, but King Jehoshaphat cried out to God, and his life was spared (2 Chronicles 18:31-32). Once safely back in Jerusalem, he was rebuked and questioned. “Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” (2 Chronicles 19:2b). To his credit, Jehoshaphat did not turn away from God and became even more diligent in bringing change to his people. Appointing judges, he exhorted them to judge in fear of God and to serve the Lord faithfully and wholeheartedly (2 Chronicles 19:7-11).
Not long after this we read that King Jehoshaphat and Judah were miraculously delivered from a vast enemy army. It sounds like Jehoshaphat had his life back on track and was ‘kicking goals’ in the right direction. That is of course until you read down to 2 Chronicles 20:35 and learn that ‘King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked’. I was shocked when I read this and also baffled. Where were Jehoshaphat’s godly advisers when he made that unwise decision? Or did Jehoshaphat override their decision and simply carry out what he had already decided he was going to do? We don’t know. But we do know God was not happy with his choice and disciplined him accordingly.
I wonder how you deal with God’s discipling. Do you learn from it, resist it, or mope in a dark corner, feeling sorry for yourself? God’s discipline is always motivated by love and a desire to train us further in righteousness. His intention is never to crush or to humiliate or to bruise unnecessarily. He is a good Father and thus has our best interests as heart. Jehoshaphat, if he had listened and learnt from God’s first rebuke, would have saved himself and his people from further loss. He didn’t listen and paid a high price for his folly. Let us learn a valuable lesson from King Jehoshaphat’s life and ensure that we submit to the discipline of the Lord in our own lives. Who knows what disasters could be avoided in the future?
Prayer: Father God, I love You and want to serve You with wholehearted vigour as King Jehoshaphat did. I also want to learn from Your discipline and change where I need to change. Help me Lord to do this. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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