Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. He walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. Yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. I Kings 22:41-44 ESV
Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor, and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. After some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab killed an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” He answered him, “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.” II Chronicles 18:1-3 ESV
As I write this, there is a terrible civil war going on in the country of Syria. Many people are getting killed or hurt, and many people are trying to get out of the country to safety. There was a picture in the news of a little boy named Omran from Syria who had been wounded and was covered with dirt and blood. An American boy named Alex saw that picture and wrote to the President of the United States and asked him to bring Omran to his home. He said that this little boy could be his brother, and that he would share his toys and his home and his friends. He wanted to help Omran by sharing everything he had with him. In a way he was saying, “What is mine will be his.”
When Jehoshaphat became the king of Judah, he made friends with King Ahab of Israel. For many years the northern and southern kingdoms had been fighting each other, but now there was peace and friendship between the two kings. When King Ahab wanted to go to war and recover a city that had belonged to him, King Jehoshaphat said that what belonged to him belonged to King Ahab. His fighting men and his horses were the same as King Ahab’s forces. They would fight the battle together as one family.
Jehoshaphat was a king who believed in and followed the true God, and he was foolish to work so closely with a king who had been so wicked and rebellious against God for so long. But in a way Jehoshaphat was like Jesus. Jesus came to us, sinners who had rebelled against God, and said, “What is mine is yours.” He was holy and righteous while we were sinful, and his righteousness became ours. We were cut off from God, but he is the Son of the Heavenly Father, and because of him we also became God’s children. All of God’s love and peace and forgiveness became ours because Jesus shared everything he had with us.
Dear Jesus, thank you for sharing your life and love and righteousness with us and making us children of your Heavenly Father. Amen.