Asa’s son, Jehoshaphat, was a significant king in the history of Judah. The Chronicler devotes four chapters to him in this inspired account written for the generation returning to the land from the Babylonian exile. Like Asa, Jehoshaphat was a good king on the whole. He did not worship idols and he walked in the commandments of the Lord God Almighty.
Throughout his reign there was another way that he could have easily gone—the bad example of the ungodly kings of Israel. We are told that he did not live according to their practices. Nonetheless, his cooperation with the kings to his north was at various times in his reign problematic as we will see in future chapters.
Jehoshaphat was greatly blessed by the Lord. He received great wealth as tribute from his subjects. He also undertook spiritual reforms and had success in removing places of false worship throughout the land. The struggle against idolatry in God’s kingdom was a battle for every generation, and Jehoshaphat was willing to fight that good fight in his day.
The spiritual agenda of the king involved not only putting off false worship but also putting on the true ways of the Lord taught in the Law. This positive task of teaching the Word of God was important to Jehoshaphat and he sent certain officials and Levites throughout the land in order to pursue this holy initiative.
The Lord brought success to the king not only within Judah and a few cities to the north that were controlled by Jehoshaphat. Tribute came to him from foreign lands because “the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah.” Within his own territory great men from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin served the king, men who had large numbers of soldiers serving at their command.
Life was good in Judah when Jehoshaphat was king. This relatively good period in Old Testament history should cause us to consider the life that is ahead of us when a far better King will come to reign over all of God’s people. What will life be like when Jesus comes again as King? How will He rule over the earth? Will the changes that we long to see all happen in a moment? We know that His victory will be far beyond anything that David, Solomon, Asa, or Jehoshaphat ever experienced. How will our Lord bring peace upon the earth? Who will be the great men that He lifts up to positions of prominence for teaching and for the protection of all the children of God? What role will angels have when Jesus comes again? How will it exactly work when the King who won His victory through His own death and resurrection shows to the world that He is King of kings and Lord of lords? What will it be like when those who are called in the Scriptures the “dead in Christ” return to the earth with their Lord? What will it actually be like when the meek have inherited the earth? It does bring us joy to consider such questions. This is one of the ways that we can set our hearts above, where Christ is currently seated at the right hand of the Father.