Read 2 Chronicles 19
Bringing People Back to God
Following an unwise decision to “help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord” (2 Chronicles 19:2) in his alliance with king Ahab, Jehoshaphat recommitted himself to doing what was right and sought to bring his people “back to the Lord God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 19:4).
A part of Jehoshaphat’s sweeping reforms included the appointment of judges over civil and legal matters. They were given authority to hear cases that included both “bloodshed” as well as “offenses against law or commandment, against statutes or ordinances” (2 Chronicles 19:10). Yet, the king warned these judges to be impartial in their judgments, saying, “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment” (2 Chronicles 19:6).
Jehoshaphat reminded the judges three important things about God. “Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes” (2 Chronicles 19:7). These are principles that still apply to the Lord’s judgment today.
“There is no iniquity with the Lord our God.” It is iniquity, in fact, that has separated man from God (Isaiah 59:2). Because of our sin, we deserve death (Romans 6:23). But because of His grace and mercy, He has provided an avenue toward reconciliation through the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7-10).
“There is…no partiality.” God does not show favoritism! Everyone will stand before Him and be measured by the same standard: the word that Jesus has spoken (John 12:48). Those who have submitted to His authority (Matthew 28:18) and have been baptized into His death (Romans 6:3-6) can stand before Him as a redeemed soul.
“Nor taking of bribes.” The thought that one can purchase forgiveness may sound ludicrous, but there are false religions that still teach such today. It shows a shallow conception of God on the part of those who attempt to secure spiritual freedom, and greed on the part of those who accept monetary gifts for so-called blessings.
We still have a responsibility today to judge according to God’s standards rather than man’s. Compare all things with the Word (John 7:24; 2 John 9-11).