Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 12, 2015

“He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Chronicles 20:26-37.

“26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the Lord.  Therefore they have named that place “The Valley of Beracah” until today.  27 Every man of Judah and Jerusalem returned with Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies.  28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres and trumpets to the house of the Lord.  29 And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.  30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.

31 Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah.  He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years.  And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.  32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord.  33 The high places, however, were not removed; the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.

34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first to last, behold, they are written in the annals of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel.  He acted wickedly in so doing.  36 So he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.  37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.”  So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish.  2 Chronicles 20:26-37.

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Considering the sins of Jehoshaphat mentioned in verses 33 to 37, it is remarkable and encouraging that there still was this conclusion about Jehoshaphat in verse 32:  “He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord.”

Even though we too may continue to sin like Jehoshaphat, God disciplines us to correct us, forgives us, and considers us blameless in Christ.

Scripture here does not specifically record Jehoshaphat’s reaction to the mild discipline of the destruction of his ships.  But, we know generally, that sometimes the discipline may be mild, because the discipline quickly gets our attention and easily corrects us.

But, whether the discipline is mild or severe, we should accept it and endure, trusting that it is for our good that we may live in holiness, peace, and righteousness, as from the hand of our Heavenly Father.

“7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons;  for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them;  shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?  10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.  11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;  yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”  Hebrews 12:7-11.

“17 And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.
18 Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;”  Isaiah 32:17-18.

“So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.”  Verse 30.


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