Oh, the sins of the father. They’ll come back to bite ya. Remember Jehoshaphat from the last few chapters? He was a pretty good king. The Lord liked him, BUT in every chapter we’ve read about Jehoshaphat, we read that the Lord was super unhappy about Jehoshaphat’s treaty with King Ahab of Israel. One of the outcomes of that treaty was that Jehoshaphat’s son and Ahab’s daughter were united in marriage, which pretty much sealed the union with the two nations as well. On the surface, and I do believe Jehoshaphat had the best intentions in mind, it looks like an upright thing to do, yeah? Jehoshaphat thought, hey, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, hey? But God said absolutely not. Like, He was adamant about Jehoshaphat NOT pursuing this type of relationship with Ahab. And today, we unfortunately see why: it wasn’t so much the present atmosphere of Judah that God was trying to protect but the literal future of the entire kingdom. Jehoshaphat’s seemingly innocent gesture to keep peace at the time in Judah resulted in not only the demise of Jerusalem but the brutal life and death of his first-born son, and let’s not forget the murder of the rest of his sons. I questioned lots of times while reading about Jehoshaphat why this one blemish on his record kept getting mentioned over and over and over again, but now we can clearly see that while Jehoshaphat lived a life devoted to God, his one bad choice and decision to defy God’s wishes led to one of the greatest downfalls of Jerusalem in history and created the kingdom’s first King of Israel who lived a downright dirty and evil life.
Now, with that said, I also want to say, it would be easy for us to blame all this on King Jehoshaphat. He did screw up, and I’m sure he and Jesus have had many chitchats about it since then, but let’s put our pointy fingers away for a few, shall we? I began this post with, “Oh, the sins of the father,” but I wrote it kind of tongue in cheek with what I’m getting ready to type in mind. Did Jehoshaphat mess up? Oh, yeah. Did he open the door for his own child to be subjected to a life that went totally against everything he’d ever taught him? Yep. Jehoshaphat enabled his own child to choose a life of lust and greed and horribleness. But we can’t blame Jehoshaphat completely for Jehoram’s terrible attitude and awful choices, for Jehoshaphat provided a good example for his child. We cannot deny that. We have the evidence. And by the time Jehoram married Ahab’s daughter, he would have had all that evidence, coupled with guidance in surroundings where God was the center of all things. So, young Jehoram made his own dang choices. He was a grown man and had plenty of examples of both his father’s kingdom and Ahab’s kingdom to make up his own mind about what was right and wrong. Brat.
In my mind, and again this is a total theory from a mother’s heart, I’m betting Jehoshaphat thought (or at least hoped) that his son would lead Ahab and his family into loving the One True God, instead of Ahab’s family luring his son into their evil lifestyle. And that is honorable. I think God saw that, for sure, but at the same time, it’s like when we know stuff, and we tell our kids that we know stuff because we’ve experienced stuff, and we don’t want them to experience the same kind of stuff, but they don’t listen, because they just have to find stuff out for themselves. This is pretty much that situation. Only I hope our children don’t need their bowels to fall out to finally get the point.
Writing prompt: good intentions
Have you ever done something with good intentions only to have it backfire right smack in your face? Write about that experience today, or if you can’t think of anything, write about something you’ve done that you hope your kids will NEVERRRRRR repeat.