Dangerous Alliances

We have all heard the saying “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” While it carries a lot of truth, those relationships rarely outlast the momentary need.  In biblical times those alliances were often strengthened through arranged or negotiated marriages.  Such was the case between Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, who married the daughter of Ahab, King of Israel, linking the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel in fighting together to reclaim stolen territory.

But the Lord was against this alliance.  Ahab was the most evil Israeli king to that point in history, while Jehoshaphat did much to honor the Lord and instruct the people in His ways.  Regardless, the two united for war despite a dire prophetic warning that was fulfilled by Ahab’s death and a narrow escape for Jehoshaphat.  Upon Jehoshaphat’s return, he was met by a seer with this message: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?  Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is upon you.  There is, however some good in you.” (2 Chronicles 19:2-3)  In humility, Jehoshaphat took this word to heart and did even more to insure that Judah was exalting God in their temple worship, judicial systems, military, and more.  Several years later, God gave Judah a great military victory against insurmountable odds, followed by peace on every side for many years.  Yet towards the end of his reign, Jehoshaphat made an alliance with Ahaziah, son of Ahab who was also guilty of wickedness.  This was a trade agreement, and their fleet of ships was wrecked and never set sail.

There is great application for us today with whom we choose to engage in business, whom we decide to marry, to whom we entrust our children, and even where we attend church.  If God’s blessings in our personal lives seem remote, perhaps among other considerations, a critical review of our relationships is in order.  God would not have us align ourselves with those who dishonor Him and denigrate His Word.

This also applies to our political affiliations where corruption is found in both parties. It is hard to know who or what to believe.  Thankfully, God’s Word remains constant, His Nature is unchanging, and He gives us discernment through Holy Spirit.  The vast majority of contentious political issues today are actually spiritual and moral issues: right to life, gender issues, law and order, racial equity, school choice, freedom of thought, speech, and prayer, and even the economy. (The Lord has much to say about finances.)  If we are honestly seeking God and searching His scripture for answers – not rewriting, ignoring, or rationalizing scripture to align with our pet causes – we will be armed with unchanging truth.  Truth is often uncomfortable and sometimes very painful, like setting a broken bone.  But reset is critical.

King Asa of Judah, Jehoshaphat’s father, “did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord” and sought God’s deliverance against a vast enemy army.  God gave him an amazing victory and this prophetic word, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:2)  This was encouragement along with a very stern warning that gives insight into God’s expectations.  Because of Jesus’ atonement for us, we will not be forsaken when we sin, yet we will experience the consequences of our disobedience.  The stakes are high in our alliances, but God is higher.  In the words of the old knight from the movie of Indiana Jones searching for the Holy Grail, “Choose carefully.” Holy Spirit has promised to lead us into all truth, but He has to be consulted… and we must be willing to be led.