“Now Jehoshaphat had riches and  honor in abundance, and joined  affinity with Ahab(2Chron.18:1). 

Ahab was the son of Omri who reigned  over the northern ten tribes of Israel that  separated from Judah when Rehoboam  was king in Judah. Rehoboam was the  son of Solomon who turned away from  the Lord in the latter years of his 40-year  reign and God gave the ten northern  tribes of Israel to Jeroboam. 

Jeroboam had been a gifted young man  whom Solomon appointed ruler over the  House of Joseph which comprised the  two tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim and  when Solomon turned away from the  Lord, building altars to pagan gods for  his many heathen wives, God sent the  prophet Ahijah to tell Jeroboam that God  would divide the nation and make him  the ruler over 10 tribes. The House of  David would continue to rule over Judah  in the south. 

When Solomon learned what Ahijah had  done he decided to kill Jeroboam and  Jeroboam fled to Egypt. 

After the death of Solomon, Jeroboam  returned to Israel and was appointed  ruler over the ten tribes by the people.  Sadly he brought back with him the chief  god of the Egyptians, the golden calf. He  placed one in the north of his kingdom  and one in the southern border of Judah.  He chose evil men to be priests and  caused Israel to sin against the Lord. 

After the death of Jeroboam his son  Nabab ruled for 2 years before Baasha  slew him and ruled. 

Baasha followed in the footsteps of  Jeroboam and promoted the worship  of the golden calves and when he died  his son Elah reigned for 2 years until he  was assassinated by the captain of his  chariots. For 6 years the northern ten  tribes were divided with two men ruling  until one of them died and Omri ruled  over all the ten tribes. 

Omri moved the capital from Tirzah to the  hill of Samaria and built a city there. He  was an evil man and “did worse than all  that were before him” (1Kgs16:25). He  prepared the way for an even more wicked  king to rule after him – his son Ahab. 

Not only did Ahab encourage the worship  of the two golden calves but he married  Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal King  of the Zidonians who brought with her  450 prophets of the god Baal and 400  prophets of the groves which involved  the worship of Ashtaroth, a godess of sex  whose image was carved out of wood in  the shape of a nude woman. The worship  of Ashtaroth involved sexual rites and  whoredom. 

Ahab was extremely immoral and in his  22-year reign he produced 70 sons and  no doubt a similar number of daughters. 

When Ahab wanted to buy the vineyard  of Naboth located close his palace in  Jezreel, Naboth refused to sell so he was  falsely charged and stoned to death.


In Samaria Ahab built a great Temple  to the god Baal and an altar to offer  sacrifices to Baal. 

Such an evil man should have been  avoided but King Jehoshaphat who  reigned over the Kingdom of Judah and  Jerusalem made a fatal mistake when he  went down to Samaria and “made affinity  with Ahab”. 

There was no need for Jehoshaphat  to join an association with Ahab.  Jehoshaphat had followed the footsteps  of his father King Asa who followed the  Lord and had been greatly blessed of  God during his 41-year-reign over Judah.  Under Jehoshaphat’s reign the kingdom  of Judah had become very powerful and  boasted an army of 1.16 million fighting  men. He appointed prophets to go  through the cities of Judah to teach the  people the Law of the Lord. 

Jehoshaphat became exceedingly rich  and all the nations about him brought  gifts to him. 

The cities of Judah were defended by  garrisons of soldiers and walls were built  to protect the them. 

Like many others who have been  successful, Jehoshaphat’s heart was  “lifted up” and he was carried away with  the honour bestowed upon him. No  longer did the northern ten tribes pose  a threat to Judah as they had when  Baasha reigned. Peace had come to the  region and Jehoshaphat went down from  Jerusalem to Samaria to enjoy a social  visit and make friends with Ahab who  was an enemy of the Lord. 

Tragically when Jehoshaphat went down  to Ahab he took his sons with him and  they met the daughters of Ahab and it  wasn’t long before wedding bells were  ringing! No longer were they meeting  

as two kings but as one family. They  gave their children the same names;  eg. Ahaziah and Jehoram. Ahab was a  Baal worshipper but he even obliged by  giving his children names that included  the name of the God of Israel.  

Athaliah means, Time for Jehovah Ahaziah means, The possession of  Jehovah 

Jehoram means, Exalted by Jehovah. 

Jehoshaphat might have reasoned that  Ahab was showing signs of turning to the  Lord and that his friendship was having a  good influence on the evil king. 

But Ahab had a different agenda. He  wanted to invade Syria and asked  Jehoshaphat to join him with some of his  million-man army – they could share the  spoils of warfare. Jehoshaphat could  hardy say no to his new-found friend  but he had a tinge of conscience and  suggested they enquire of the Lord. 

Of course Ahab’s prophets all agreed  that God would give him a great victory.  But how could Jehoshaphat trust Ahab’s  prophets? So he asked,  

“Is there not here a prophet of the LORD  besides, that we might enquire of him?” 

Yes there was a prophet of the Lord,  Micaiah, who was languishing in prison.  At first Micaiah assured Ahab that he  would be successful but there was  something in the tone of his answer that  made Ahab realise he was not genuine.  

Micaiah then stated that God had put  a lying spirit in the mouths of Ahab’s

prophets and that if they went to war  against Syria they would be defeated  and their army scattered. Ahab turned to  Jehoshaphat and said,  

“Did I not tell thee that he would not  prophesy good unto me?” 

Micaiah was sent back to prison.

At this point Jehoshaphat should have  quit. He should have sided with the  prophet of the Lord and walked away  from this ungodly alliance with Ahab  but how could he offend? He was now  related and so for fear of destroying  the friendship, Jehoshaphat sided with  wicked Ahab and he paid an awful price. 

The war with Syria was a disaster and  Israel was defeated just as Micaiah  had prophesied. Ahab died from an  arrow wound and Jehoshaphat barely  escaped with his life. It put an end to the  relationship Jehoshaphat had with Ahab  but it was only the beginning of greater  problems between the two families. 

Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram was now  married to Ahab’s daughter Athaliah who  was just as evil as her mother Jezebel and  when Athaliah moved in with Jehoram  at Jerusalem her presence poisoned the  palace. Her husband slew all his brethren,  the sons of Jehoshaphat, to remove any  challenge to his wicked reign.  

Then God sent the Philistines and the  Arabians who took away Jehoram’s  wives and the children he had to his  other wives. Only Athaliah remained and  her youngest son Ahaziah. 

Jehoram soon found other wives and had  other children but he only reigned eight  years before God struck him down with  a loathsome disease and Athaliah’ son,  Ahaziah, reigned for just one year.  

After one year Ahaziah went to Samaria  to visit his in-laws at the time God raised  up Jehu to judge the house of Ahab.  Ahaziah and his brother-in-law Joram,  were both slain.  

With her only surviving son dead, Athaliah  took control in Jerusalem and reigned 6  years but not before she slew the young  children born to Jehoram and his other  

wives. Only the 12-month-old Joash  survived when his sister rescued him and  hid him in the Temple. His sister was the  wife of the High Priest.  

While Jehu was purging the Northern  kingdom of Israel from every trace of  Baal worship, the worship of Baal was  flourishing in Jerusalem under the  direction of Athaliah and continued for 6  years until Joash was crowned King by  the High Priest at the age of 7 years.  

Athaliah was slain and Joash reigned  under the direction of the priests of the  Lord for 40 years. The images and altars  of Baal were removed from the Temple  and the people turned again to the Lord.  Approximately 25 years of apostasy had  come to an end and it all could have been  avoided if godly King Jehoshaphat had  not made affinity with wicked apostate  Ahab. 

The Biblical principle is clear: 

“Be 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? for ye are the temple of the living

God …. Wherefore come out from  among them, and be ye separate,  saith the Lord, and touch not the  unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And will be a Father unto you, and ye  shall be my sons and daughters, saith  the Lord Almighty” (2Cor.6:14-18). 

Christendom today is no less apostate  than Israel when it worshipped  Baal and the Golden Calves. Today  ecumenical Christians fellowship in  Ministers Fraternals with Catholic 

priests, Seventh-Day-Adventist Pastors  and modernist Ministers who condone  Gay Marriage and/or deny the Deity of  Christ. 

We will never know the power of the  Gospel through compromise. The story  of Jehoshaphat surely demonstrates  how compromise only leads to ship 

wreck. The cost of compromise is high  and the experience of Jehoshaphat  comes as a solemn warning to every  servant of God. 

“Wherefore Jesus also, that he  might sanctify the people with his  own blood, suffered without the  gate. Let us go forth therefore unto  him without the camp, bearing his  reproach. For here have we no  continuing city, but we seek one to  come” (Heb.13:12-14).

–  John Ecob