2 Ch 17:3 … the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;
From the beginning of the Nation of Israel, God has given the laws and commandments to the people, that they are to follow with all their hearts. GOD is not looking for robotic obedience, but sincerity in discipleship. David, as King, though imperfect, as all fathers today are not perfect, followed GOD with ALL his heart. The bible calls David a man after God’s own heart. David’s example of following GOD was the inspiration of many prophets and kings, and one of them was Jehoshaphat. David reigned about a 100 years before Jehoshaphat , and yet his influence on the young King’s life was great.
Notice that Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of his father David.. King David was not the father of Jehoshaphat, but Asa. But Jehoshaphat was mentioned in the bible to wlaked in the ways of David his father. What a far reaching influence David had, that even overrode King Asa’s influence over his own son Jehosphaphat. David’s trend of life influenced the young king, for he is said to walked in the ways of David his father. Our lives are the influence in our children’s lives: if we have a heart to follow GOD, our children will learn and have a heart to follow GOD.
Notice secondly, that Jehoshaphat sought not unto Baalim. Baalim is the false god in those times, it was the god that cause many to sin wickedly against the Lord, which included child sacrifices. Baalim was the prevailing belief of those times, and can be liken to the ways of this world. The way of this world always lead Christians away from the Lord. But because of David’s influence over Jehoshaphat, the young king was kept away from the evil and wrongful influences of the prevailing culture. There are many influences of our Singaporean prevailing culture. The need for a good education, material prosperity and good careers are touted oftentimes as important for any individual to survive in Singapore. But is this the right priority? Fathers, we have the god-given privilege to teach and to influence our children by our example not to seek after the ways of this world. Yes, we do need to work, to earn our keep, and have a job to provide the needs, but we are never to set our hearts on them, but on the Lord. When we seek the Lord first in our lives, and actively forsake the things of this world, our children will be encouraged to seek GOD, and forsake the things of this world.
Notice thirdly the blessing of such an influence: The Lord was with Jehoshaphat. Because of David’s influence over Jehoshaphat, which led to him walking in the right ways of his great grandfather, Jehoshaphat had the blessing of the presence of GOD. There is nothing more precious than knowing that GOD is with us and He walks with us and leads us. Our children will be much blessed as we seek to love GOD, and as God is with us, our GOD promises that he will be with our children as well.
How much influence do we have, fathers , mothers, parents, over our children? Is our influence for good, or for evil? Do we, by our example, influence them away from God, or towards to the Lord? God has given us this privilege of influence, may we influence our next generation and the generation after that, for the glory of GOD and that the presence of the Lord GOD of Heaven will be with our descendants.
Evangelist – Pastor Johnny Tan
Ambassador Baptist Church