2 Chronicles 20:35-37—And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongeber. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
Jehoshaphat went down in history as a godly king. Like most of the kings, he did not remove the high places; a remnant of idol worship was allowed to remain. Those places seemed to be the enemy’s stronghold in Judah that no one had the boldness to conquer. Though Jehoshaphat made his share of mistakes, overall, his heart was after God and he was said to have walked in the ways of Asa his father. At the end of his life he had a chance to practice a lesson that he had learned early on as a king. Do you remember when he made the alliance with Ahab? A prophet warned him of God’s judgment for loving the one that hated God. Ahab was the wickedest king of Israel. In our passage today, Jehoshaphat again made an alliance with a wicked king of Israel. It is not a war, just a business venture. They teamed up to build some ships. Solomon had imported great amounts of wealth, and perhaps these kings thought that they could do the same. The LORD destroyed those ships before they could set sail. Jehoshaphat may have justified the situation in his mind saying, “It is only business.” When we learn a lesson, the LORD often allows us to face the temptation again to see if we have really learned it. Is our heart really given to God and not flesh in those situations? Jehoshaphat failed the test a second time and had this blot on his testimony. Warning: Watch those areas of weakness where you think you have learned a lesson. They may come again to see if your heart has surrendered in that area to God. It is a chance to examine our heart and see what is not yet in the LORD’s hands.