2 Chronicles 16–20: Jehoshaphat & The Teaching of God’s Law

Read the Bible in 2011Week 41: Tuesday

“The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he
followed the example of his father David’s earlier
days and did not seek the Baals, but sought the
God of his father, followed His commandments,
and did not act as Israel did.

“So the LORD established the kingdom in his control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah.

“Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the LORD with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.”
2 Chronicles 17:3–9

Tuesday’s Bible reading of 2 Chronicles 17–20 finishes Asa’s years as king of Judah and sketches the reign of his son, Jehoshaphat. There’s a great deal to learn from the life of Jehoshaphat with the primary message being that of trust and reliance on God for help.

One thing I found intriguing as I read was that Jehoshaphat not only tore down idols, he also sent his officials, the Levites and two priests throughout Judah to teach the people God’s Law. Dr. Richard Pratt, Jr., writes:

“The Chronicler’s keen interest in the mutual support of king and temple personnel becomes evident here. The ideal kings David and Solomon concentrated on establishing the priests and Levites in their proper roles (see 1 Chr 15:11-24; 16:4-6,37-42; 23:1-26:32; 2 Chr 8:14-15); Hezekiah also gave much attention to the temple personnel (see 29:1-36; 30:15-17,21-27; 31:2-21) as did Josiah (see 34:8-13; 35:1-19). Here Jehoshaphat established the priests and Levites in their rightful place as teachers of the Law…”1

That’s a very short list of kings who were careful to support the Levites and priests. Jehoshaphat’s actions, sadly, were quite unusual. It’s not hard to understand the apostasy and rebellion of Judah.

Do you understand the importance of the Bible? Part of the purpose of my posts has been to help you understand this. Learn from the example of Jehoshaphat.

You can read more of my posts on the importance of the Bible at:
The Bible: God’s Revelation
Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 32: Hearers & Doers
Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 35: House On The Rock

Click on Continue reading for a genealogy chart of the kings of Israel and Judah based on 1 and 2 Kings.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1Richard L. Pratt, Jr., “Judah During the Divided Kingdom (2 Chronicles 10:1 – 28:7) The Reign of Jehoshaphat, part 1: Overview; Jehoshaphat’s Earlier Years, part 1: Jehoshaphat’s Earlier Fidelity (2 Chronicles 17:1-19),” Reformed Perspectives, p. 391.
Genealogy of the Kings of Israel and Judah, F. Duffy: Public Domain.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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