We’ve all got a choice to make, and in not choosing you’re still choosing.
We’ve all got a purpose, a calling to heed. If we think God needs us we’re wrong, but He wants us. Oh does He want us!
There is always this thing we’re trying to do that I’m convinced drives God batty. Compromise.
No matter how you spin it; God detests it. Just look at Jehoshaphat.
Jehoshaphat had to choose what his relationship with evil King Ahab would be. And we’ve all got to choose what our relationship with the world will be.
Like a lot of Christians, Jehoshaphat chose compromise. We can say what we want, but it boils down to being easier. Living a life all in, can leave you feeling left out.
Maybe his motive was political or maybe social. Maybe he justified it as a righteous thing to restore Israel. Maybe he even hoped to reunite Israel and Judah.
We commonly sacrifice truth and righteousness for the sake of being “socially appropriate”.
Whatever his or our justification for the choice of compromise, it doesn’t fly with God.
It doesn’t appear that this relationship between righteous Jehoshaphat and evil Ahab developed overnight. No, it was one compromise after another. Let’s be friends. How about my daughter marry your son? Come to dinner. Next thing you know this social call has him in front of 400 false prophets who are telling him to go to war with the evil King.
Sure. Jehoshaphat asks to see a real prophet of the Lord, but he doesn’t listen to him, and goes on to war battling for the evil kings cause.
This left Jehoshaphat in a very dangerous situation. I can think of times in my life like that. Maybe not literally surrounded by false prophets, but I’ve found myself way out of the will of God, far from the calling on my life, and wondered how I ever got this far.
If the idea of marrying his child into King Ahab and evil Queen Jezebel’s family didn’t give him pause I’d say being encircled by an army with bows drawn who had mistaken him for the evil King would.
31 As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; God drew them away from him. 32 For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 2 Chronicles 18:31-32
We can serve God narrowly. We can mostly obey, usually listen, generally do Gods will. The narrow sliver that you reserved may be the narrow escape with your life. It was for Jehosaphat. Who wants a narrow kinda life?
Before we get to thinking being a Christian is opressive. Let’s recall the beginning of the story:
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 courageous in the ways of the LORD. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:5-6
This isn’t just an Old Testament story that is now made void by Jesus and his teachings of love and acceptance. Lets jump forward. WAYYY forward; to the last book of the Bible. The end of the story. The final say:
20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. Revelation 2:20
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am so busy trying to contradict the belief that Christians are hateful and intolerant, trying to be “socially appropriate”, that I have compromised. We can not be hateful, but we must not compromise truth and righteousness. It’s a slow fade.