Keeping Bad Company

And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;  But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. (II Chronicles 17:3-5)

 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. (II Chronicles 18:1)

To the casual reader, these passages don't appear to be talking about the same man, but they are.  Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah, and unlike so many that ruled before him, he decided to follow the will of God.  From what the Bible tells us, he was a good man, so why in the world was he hooking up with the most wicked king that Israel had ever known?  It makes no sense.  Ahab was the exact opposite of Jehoshaphat.  He spit upon the very principles that the king of Judah stood for.  They had nothing in common except for their kingship.  So, why join forces?  Was it a lack of faith on Jehoshaphat's part?  Did he feel that there was strength in numbers?  Did he fear attack from Ahab?  I don't know, but I know that God wasn't happy about it.

And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. (II Chronicles 19:1-2)

God has the same question for the king of Judah that I have--"What were you thinking?"  God knew Ahab's heart and the hatred he had for the Lord.  Obviously, He was not pleased about Jehoshaphat playing nice with Ahab.  They weren't supposed to be on the same side, and God made sure that Jehoshaphat knew that.

Before we get too hard on Jehoshaphat, though, we would do well to take a look at the company we've been keeping.  Those thoughts, habits and activities that keep us company throughout the day.  Are they pleasing to God, or are they the exact opposite of the things we should be doing or thinking?  Do they bring honor to God or pleasure to self?  Do they fuel our faith or our fear?  What kind of things are we playing nice to throughout the day?  I'm afraid that if we'll look deep enough, we'll discover that Jehoshaphat wasn't the only one keeping bad company.  

Let's be careful about who and what we invite into our lives.  Jehoshaphat encountered the wrath of God for his misjudgment.  We don't want to encounter the same, do we?