2 Chronicles 17: 12
Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built forts and cities to keep his stores in large supplies in the towns of Judah. His forces also contained experienced and skillful men.
Jehoshaphat has grown a lot. How was he able to grow to that level? What are the reasons behind his enormous growth? Let’s analyze the reasons.
The Lord was with Jehoshaphat
In verse 3, we read that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat. If the Lord is with us, there is no doubt that a person will grow and be blessed.
On the other hand, if the Lord is not with us, all our plans and labor will be in vain. As it is said in Psalms 127 verse 1, the Lord has to be with us and the Lord has to build the house Himself and bless us. If not, all our labor will be in vain.
We must carefully see that the Lord is with us in everything we do in our lives. We may be distracted and fooled by the Satan – he might suggest various “short cut” ways for us to be blessed. But we must be very careful to ignore the short cuts and keep our faith in the Lord.
A good example of this is Jacob who always wanted to be blessed and acquire wealth and blessings by deceiving his brother and father. But he was not able to enjoy the blessings he acquired by deceiving others. He left his native with only the staff and not with all the possessions he acquired by cheating others.
During his journey, Jacob prays and makes a vow that if the Lord will be with him and watch over him in his journey, the Lord will be his God and that he will give a tenth of all his earnings as offering to the Lord (Genesis 28: 20-22). Jacob now wants the Lord to be with him since he realized that the Lord wasn’t with him earlier! He also realizes that true blessing and growth is possible only if the Lord is with him.
In Genesis 39: 2, 3 we read the the Lord was with Joseph and he prospered. He succeeded in whatever he did. Even though he was in Egypt, he found favor in the eyes of Potiphar – he was also put in charge of his household and Potiphar entrusted to his care on everything he owned.
We read the example of Nehemiah in the book of Nehemiah 2: 8 where he received favor in the eyes of the King and got whatever he asked for.
Jehoshaphat did not seek Baal and he sought the Lord
We should not seek the Lord as we please but should seek Him as He has instructed us. If we fail to do so, we will not be able to grow. And not just that we will be punished as well.
In 2 Samuel 6: 1-8 we read the story of Uzzah who died when he reached out his hand to take hold of the ark of the Lord. Even though Uzzah wanted to prevent the ark from falling, it is not what the Lord expects.
In fact, the Lord wants the ark to be bought by Lord’s men and not on a bullock cart. Since David and others did not seek the Lord as He instructed us, their whole journey was not blessed.
We should not seek the Lord as well as worship the idols. We should not seek the Lord and as well seek black magic.
Jehoshaphat followed the commands of the Lord
Jehoshaphat gave importance to Lord’s commands and principles and he followed them religiously. He totally neglected the ways of Israelites and only followed the principles that the Lord had given him.
Even though we live in the world where there are so many evil ways, we must be determined to ignore all those worldly principles and only follow the words of the Lord.
In Psalms 86: 13, if we walk in the ways of the Lord we will have an undivided heart. Our thoughts will not wander all over the place and over all the short cuts but we will be focused on our progress in the ways of the Lord – and this will guarantee us growth (as blessed by the Lord).
In Revelation 22: 14, we read that we will have the right to the trees of life only if we follow His principles and lead a clean life while we’re in this world.
To recap, Jehoshaphat let the Lord be with him in whatever he did. He avoided seeking the Baals and he sought only the Lord. He followed the principles of the Lord and walked in His ways.
And he was blessed and he grew enormously!