Jehoshaphat followed God and his obedience brought him wealth and honor. Even so, there are times when we can make some poor decisions that can end up pulling us away from God. Jehoshaphat’s poor decision was making bad alliances.
In 2 Chronicles 18, we read about the first bad alliance. This was a marriage alliance involving Jehoshaphat’s son Joram to King Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. King Ahab was very far from God. As Ahab and Jehoshaphat aligned together, Jehoshaphat was nearly killed if not for the protection of God. The second alliance was a trading alliance Jehoshaphat formed with King Ahaziah. God responds with smashed ships unable to trade.
We are never to isolate ourselves from others. How would the Gospel spread if we hide ourselves away? Nonetheless, we need to be cautious of our alliances. Not only can a bad alliance crush our moral authority, but it can lead us away from God. It is so important to surround yourself with strong Christians for encouragement, support, guidance, and comfort.
“Late in life Jehoshaphat formed a trading syndicate with Ahaziah king of Israel—which was very wrong of him to do. He went in as partner with him to build ocean-going ships at Ezion Geber to trade with Tarshish. Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah preached against Jehoshaphat’s venture: ‘Because you joined forces with Ahaziah, God has shipwrecked your work.’ The ships were smashed and nothing ever came of the trade partnership.”
-2 Chronicles 20:35-37 [MSG]