“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you.” 2 Ch. 19:2
King Jehoshaphat had been doing so well his entire life, yet his name was blemished by a blunder that he committed - he made an alliance with Ahab. Jehu the seer, son of Hanani, went to the king and pointed out the mistake he had made, stating, “because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you.”
King Jehoshaphat might not have thought what he did was such a big deal, since it was more of a political alliance than anything else. As far the marriage was concerned, it was a political deal which didn’t mean much to him personally. He could have made a justification for his deed by bringing up the welfare of Judah into the discussion.
Obviously, it was not absolutely a necessity that he chose to do what he did, really. He could have chosen to do otherwise and things would have turned out to be just fine. Yet he decided to befriend the ungodly, greedy, and justice-abusing, idol-crutching Ahab, and his integrity was compromised and his name smeared. And from then on, he would always be remembered as someone who started his kingship with a bang, and ended with a whimper.
Of course there was still “some good” in King Jehoshaphat and a little blemish late in his life didn’t do away with all the good deeds he had done. Yet it only goes to show the importance of ending one’s career well, for our ending is what people remember us by, and our ending may easily ruin our judicious beginning.
Aren’t we all a mixed bag of good and bad, virtue and vice, purity and profanity? Apart from God’s mercy and the Lord Jesus’ merit on the cross we would never be justified before the Lord. This, however, does not excuse us from trying to do good consistently and to maintain our integrity throughout our life.
It was a great blunder that Jehoshaphat committed and it became one of those monumental events in the king’s otherwise illustrious life that defined him. And it may have been something that brought a good amount of remorse and regret to the king in his old age.
As I am approaching the sunset of my days, I dread that something such as this may occur to me and ruin whatever good name I have been constructing my entire life. We ought to do our best to finish our race well, lest we stumble and become a laughingstock to the unbelieving world.