SUCCESS ALIGNED WITH GOD
Date: May 27
2 Chronicles 17:3-6a
"The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father [David]. He did not seek the Baals but sought and yearned with all his desire for the Lord, the God of his father, and walked in His commandments and not after the ways of Israel. Therefore, the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was cheered and his courage was high in the ways of the Lord; moreover, he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah."
Jehoshaphat is a very good depiction of a righteous king. Jehoshaphat ruled from 870-848 B.C. He was the king of Judah for over 22 years. But why was he such a good king? How can you and I be good people and godly leaders? These verses explain how. It says in verse 3 that Jehoshaphat "walked in the first ways of his father [David]. He did not seek the Baals." So he didn't seek other gods. He was doing exactly what his father did, meaning he obeyed the Lord. Then in verse 4 it says that he "sought and yearned with all his desire for the Lord, the God of his father…" Seeking means to exert energy, to sweat, and to really work hard to find something. That's how Jehoshaphat sought after God. God was his first priority.
When he had to relate to people, he would do it in a way that pleased God. Whenever he opened his mouth, he would speak the things that would please God. When he did anything at all, he would do it for the glory of God. It also says in the second part of verse 4 that Jehoshaphat "walked in His commandments and not after the ways of Israel." So he decided that not only was he going to seek God, but he was going to do what God commanded. That's what made him great.
Also notice what it says in verse 5. Because Jehoshaphat obeyed God, God "established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshphat, and he had great riches and honor." So God brought Jehoshaphat success in whatever he did because he obeyed God, and as a result, he became wealthy and honorable. So he became rich through his labor and skills. But God gave him those abilities because he sought God and obeyed Him.
Then in verse 6, it says, "His heart was cheered…" In other words, when he did what God wanted him to do, he became joyous. That's where his happiness came from. It came from doing what God wanted him to do. So when you work diligently at something and you achieve a goal, remember to praise the Lord because it is through your obedience to Him that He gave you success in your efforts. It also says in verse 6 that "his courage was high in the ways of the Lord…" That means that he really believed in himself. He had a lot of self-confidence. He believed he could do anything because he was focused on God.
Then it says in the rest of verse 6, "Moreover, he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah." The high places and the Asherim were places of idol worship, the worshipping of false gods. It was where people gathered and did immoral things. Men were having sex with other women including prostitutes, thinking they were worshipping God that way. Instead, they were worshipping everything else but God. They were following their own desires and passions, not God and His Word. But Jehoshaphat obeyed God and took those high places out of Judah.
So, if you want to be successful in life, if you want to be cheerful, and if you want to be of high courage, then you have to walk and live in the ways of God. Seek and yearn after God with all of your heart. When you align yourself up with God and His Word, you will succeed.