I’ve was reading about King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and found he had a pattern in making bad decisions. Even so, he was a wonderful champion for God.
“The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the ways of David and sought not to the idol Baal; but he sought the Lord God of his father, Asa. He walked in his commandments and not after the doings of Israel and its kings.” 2 Chronicles 17:3-5
Not only did Jehoshaphat follow God, but he sent teachers of God’s laws to all the towns of his realm. God blessed him with riches and honor.
But Jehoshaphat had a failing in his character. Instead of staying apart from the evil kings of Israel, he made treaties with them. He allowed his eldest son to marry the daughter of Jezebel.
One day, Ahab, king of Israel, asked Jehoshaphat to come and visit. He then asked him to go to war against the king of Aram. Aram had promised to give the city Ramoth-gilead back to Israel, but he wouldn’t do it.
Jehoshaphat said, “I am as you are and my people as your people; and we will be with you in the war.” Ahab’s false prophets had told the king he would win the war. But Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of God, so they sent for Micaiah. He told them they would lose the war and Ahab would die. Ahab threw him in prison and they went to battle anyway.
Thousands of their people died fighting and the battle turned out exactly as the prophet of God had said. Jehoshaphat barely escaped with his life. When he returned home, Jehu the prophet met him and said, “Do you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is upon you. However, some good is found in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles from the land and have set your heart to seek God.”
Why did Jehoshaphat help Ahab? I think it was because he considered the people in Israel his family, which they were by blood. And I think he felt his country was too small to fight against Israel and other countries so decided to make them allies. Israel was composed of ten tribes, whereas Jehoshaphat ruled over only two tribes, Judah and Benjamin. But this showed a lack of faith, for the Bible shows God doesn’t need a huge army to win a war. He doesn’t need us at all. He can do it all himself, if we believe.
After Ahab’s death, his son Jehoram ruled Israel. The king of Moab rebelled at paying taxes so Jehoram went out to fight them. He asked Jehoshaphat to go with him. You would think Jehoshaphat would have learned from what happened before, but he didn’t. He took his army with Jehoram. This battle was won by the hand of God.
After Jehoram died, his son Ahaziah ruled. “King Jeoshaphat of Judah joined with him Though they did not go to war together, they went into business building ships to go to Tarshish. Then Eliezer the prophet went to Jehoshaphat and said, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” And the ships were wrecked on the way to Tarshish.
Jehoshaphat chose his eldest son Jehoram, the grandson of Jezebel, to be the next king. But he had been taught by his mother to worship idols. He immediately murdered his brothers so no one else could be king and he taught the people to worship Baal and other idols which included burning children alive as a sacrifice.
So, Jehoshaphat was a strong believer in God. He did follow him except in this one area of uniting with those who did not worship God. But the consequences of his decisions were, monetary loss, death for his people and then the death of his sons. He couldn’t seem to see the evil in the kings of Israel nor in his eldest son.
I believe his bad choices are in the Bible to teach us what can happen when we ally ourselves with unbelievers, either through marriage, war or business dealings. I think God made it clear how he felt about what Jehoshaphat was doing. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t saved. I believe he was, but it does show the terrible results of not trusting God enough and making decisions without consulting Him.
So, what is my Achilles heel? I would say I keep looking to people too much for love and attention. I have done that all my life and it has caused numerous problems. When I was a teen, I was desperate for someone, anyone, to love me. This led me into all kinds of trouble as you can imagine.
This carried over into adulthood where I made many choices out of God’s will because I wanted someone to love me. I am learning, slowly but surely, to find all the love I need in him. And what I like about this is his is a kind of love that never wavers and never ends. People cannot give me the all-encompassing love I want, but he can and he does.
I’ll leave you to figure out what your Achilles Heel may be.