2Chronicles 19:1 ¦ And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
2Chronicles 19:2 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.
2Chronicles 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.
Continuing the narrative from the previous chapterÉ
King Jehoshaphat returned safely to his home in Jerusalem. Jehu, the son of Hanani the prophet, met him as he was returning home. He rebuked the king for having aligned himself with the ungodly Ahab, a man that hated the LORD. He would suffer from GodŐs anger against him because of that choice (as we will see in the next chapter).
The news wasnŐt all bad. The prophet stated that good things had been noted about him; he had taken out of the land the groves dedicated to the false gods and had set his heart to seek to obey God. In other words, his alliance with Ahab was a sinful choice, but it did not negate all that was good about him.
I think it is important to note that JehoshaphatŐs sin was in aligning himself with a man who was blatantly ungodly. This principle is restated in the New Testament.
2 Corinthians 6:14–16 ŇBe ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?Ó
This does not mean that we are not to seek to be a witness to those in sin. We are just not to partner with the unbeliever in actions that arenŐt in accordance with GodŐs will as revealed in His word. That is how Jehoshaphat sinned.
2Chronicles 19:4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.
2Chronicles 19:5 ¦ And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,
2Chronicles 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
2Chronicles 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
Jehoshaphat maintained his home in Jerusalem, but he personally traveled throughout his kingdom urging the people to repent and turn back in obedience to the LORD God of their fathers.
He placed judges in all the fortified cities in Judah and reminded them that they were servants of the LORD and should make judgments in accordance with His law. He commanded them to remember that they were accountable to God for their judgments. God does not condone injustice due to partiality for any reason nor does He condone bribery.
2Chronicles 19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem.
2Chronicles 19:9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
2Chronicles 19:10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass.
2Chronicles 19:11 And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the kingŐs matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the LORD shall be with the good.
In Jerusalem, the King appointed Levites, priests and heads of families to serve as judges. They were also urged to remember that they were accountable before the LORD and should seek to serve Him faithfully and sincerely. They were to warn every litigant that sought their judgment that GodŐs law was the law of the land and that any action done in disregard of GodŐs law would invoke His wrath.
The King appointed Amariah, the chief priest, as the one with the final say concerning spiritual matters; Zebadiah, son of Ishmael, was given the final say over matters of government. The Levites were to assist the judges as needed.
The king encouraged all those appointed to serve with courage and strength (from the Hebrew) because the LORD would be with those that served Him well.
Clarke made a good application: ŇWITHOUT good and wholesome laws, no nation can be prosperous; and vain are the best laws if they be not judiciously and conscientiously administered.Ó