TEXT: 2 CHRONICLES 20:31-37.
🔑KEY VERSE “And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly” (2 CHRONICLES 20:35)
History has records of several men and women who had wonderful sum of achievements at the beginning of their lives, but ended with one shameful blemish or the other. They are like sprinters who started off strong in a race only to stumble close to the finishing line. All these go to prove that though starting well matters, finishing well and strong is more important.
King Jehoshaphat had the record of being one of Judah’s most successful kings. He was able to rally the nation back to God, carried out some reforms and led the nation out in faith against strong and powerful nations in battle. But as the story of his life ends in our passage today, it concluded with a dent in his character. He got into alliance with the ungodly King Ahaziah in a business deal. God demonstrated His displeasure against this ungodly and unequal yoke, by causing the business to suffer a serious damage and to fail.
Christians ought to be more careful with their lives, especially at a time when they seemed to have reached the peak of their career. The tendency at such a time is to relax, take off the guard and become less careful. It is at such times that the devil often takes advantage to sneak in and deal a damaging blow. God does not permit at the end of our lives the things He forbids at the beginning. If He condemned unequal yoke, worldliness, divorce, etc., at the beginning, He is still does today and will still do to the end of the race.
It will be so unfortunate and very tragic if at a time that we are very close to the finishing line of our race, we allow ourselves to fumble and stumble. This will rubbish all the good records we have and the efforts we have put into the race. Therefore, stay on your guards. Keep your convictions strong. Avoid compromise and do not give in to ungodly associations.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: It is not enough to start well; it is more important to end well.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: PSALMS 11-18.
“Love”: The source of all besetting sins
- “A besetting sin is a sin by which one is easily captured. It seems to have the ability to surround us at will. It is a sin to which we are vulnerable, and it tends to hang on.”
Q What is your own besetting sin?
- After salvation, special care must be taken to make sure one is not ensnared by them, Hebrews 12: 1. The consequence of falling into them, like all other sins, is usually fatal.
- Jehoshaphat’s besetting sin was love for brotherhood for Israel, the godless nation, to the point of indulging in partnership with her.
- He went into alliance with Ahab and was punished to near death, 19:2; and despite that, he also did the same with the son of Ahab with serious consequences, 20:35-37.
- This sentimental brotherhood love for Israel eventually gave way to generational problems for Jehoshaphat.
- The exercise of love for a neighbour that contradicts the love of God or His word is a compromised love with deadly consequences, Mark 12:28-31.
- Watch against compromised, impure, sentimental and inordinate affections. They often lead to sins with deadly consequences.
Lord, purge my heart of all impure and compromised love🙏
Lord, strengthen my will against all compromised love and besetting sins🙏
Lord, give me the grace and power to end well🙏
Pray for grace for your pastors to end well in the Lord🙏
HYMN Oh the bitter shame and sorrow