Should You Help the Wicked?1
2 Chronicles 19:1-11
1Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. (His rescue from being killed in the battle was very special. Let us hope he was deeply grateful for it. He had foolishly placed himself in danger. It was great mercy that saved him from almost certain death. However, we see that his behavior did not go unrebuked.) 2But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the LORD. 3Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”
Jehu’s father had rebuked King Asa and was put in prison,2 but this did not stop the son from doing his duty. He spoke personally and clearly to King Jehoshaphat. He did not hesitate to deliver the Lord’s threatening message. The result was good. The king recognized his sin. He began to do all the good he could. This showed that his repentance was real.
4Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem. And he went out again among the people, from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephriam, and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
After we have turned to God, the best thing we can do is to use our influence to convert others.
5He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 6and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment. 7Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”
In all our interactions we are obligated to be absolutely fair. We should never allow the threats or smiles of anyone to keep us from doing the right thing. Our heavenly Father is righteous and all his children should be too. Judges are not the only ones who can be bribed. Employees may be bribed to allow suppliers to rob their employers; employers may be tempted to treat their employees unfairly; and children may be persuaded by gifts or threats to tell lies. These things must not happen or we will grieve the Holy Spirit of God.3
8Moreover, in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed certain Levites and priests and heads of families of Israel, to give judgment for the LORD and to decide disputed cases. They had their seat at Jerusalem.
This was to be a central court where difficult cases would be decided. What a blessing it is that in the New Jerusalem we have one who is called Wonderful Counselor,4 and no case is too hard for him.
9And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart: 10whenever a case comes to you from your brothers who live in their cities, concerning bloodshed, law or commandment, statutes or rules, then you shall warn them that they may not incur guilt before the LORD and wrath may not come upon you and your brothers. Thus you shall do, and you will not incur guilt. (And today it is still necessary to urge one another to do the right thing. What others think about us is not what is important. Disciples of Jesus should always be honest. If honor is expelled from all the rest of the world, it should still live in the heart of believers.)
11“And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters, and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the LORD be with the upright!” (Let this be our motto in everything we do. The person who acts uprightly never has a reason for fear, because God is with him. Children, learn this line by heart, “Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright!”)
1 2 Chronicles 19:2
2 2 Chronicles 16:10
3 Ephesians 4:29-30a: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”
4 Isaiah 9:6 or Wonderful Lawyer