“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV).
When Jehoshaphat became the King of Judah he sought the God of his father and walked in His commandments. Therefore, the LORD established the kingdom in his hand.
Jehoshaphat became increasingly powerful, built fortresses and storage cities in Judah. All Judah gave presents to Jehoshaphat, and so he had honour and riches in abundance, and mighty men of valour who served him (2 Chro. 17:3-19).
However, by marriage Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab – the wicked King of Israel. When Jehoshaphat went down to visit Ahab, Ahab asked him, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” And he answered him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.” (2 Chro. 18:3 NKJV).
While they were going to the battle, Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.” (2 Chro. 18:29 NKJV).
Strangely, Jehoshaphat foolishly agreed to this subtle plan!
In the battle, when the captains of the chariots of the Syrian army saw Jehoshaphat, they mistook him for Ahab the King of Israel and thus surrounded him to attack and kill him, for the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots who were with him, saying, “Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.” (2 Chro. 18:30 NKJV).
Because of his alliance with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, Jehoshaphat almost lost his life in the battle that he had no business fighting, but for the mercy and help of God.
The Scripture records in 2 Chronicles 18:
31 So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “It is the king of Israel!” Therefore they surrounded him to attack; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him.
32 For so it was, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. (NKJV).
However, after Jehoshaphat had returned safely to his house in Jerusalem, God sent His servant to him to rebuke and correct him for being unequally yoked together with the wicked (2 Chro. 19:1-3). But sadly, Jehoshaphat would not heed God’s rebuke, correction and warning.
After the death of Ahab, Jehoshaphat again allied himself again with Ahaziah, the King of Israel, who acted very wickedly. Jehoshaphat joined himself with Ahaziah to do business together – to make ships to go to Tarshish for gold. But, God would not prosper such a business alliance.
The Scripture records in 2 Chronicles 20:
35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly.
36 And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
37 But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish. (NKJV).
What a lesson for Christian business men and women today!
While the believers should not hate the unbelievers, yet the Scripture clearly warns against being unequally yoked together with the unbelievers either by marriage or business. Many children of God, like Jehoshaphat, have brought untold suffering, stress, loss, pain, or anguish upon themselves because of their alliance with the unbelievers.
The Scripture warns in 2 Corinthians 6:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”(NKJV).
Beloved, you will save yourself from unnecessary stress, battle, suffering, pain, or loss in life by heeding God’s admonition or warning against alliance with the unbelievers.
The Scripture admonishes,
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Cor. 15:33 NKJV).
“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Prov. 12:26 NKJV).
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.” (Prov. 13:20 NKJV).
Although King Solomon deeply loved God and had a wise and understanding heart, yet his heart was turned away from God when he allied himself by marriage with ungodly women. Though Solomon started well, yet he ended awfully as a result of wrong alliances.
The Scripture records in 1 Kings 11:
1 But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites-
2 from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.
3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
4 For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. (NKJV).
Friend, don’t be deceived, if Jehoshaphat and Solomon who loved God deeply could be negatively influenced and their hearts drawn away from God when they allied themselves with the ungodly, you better heed God’s admonition about wrong or unholy alliance with the ungodly.
Apostle Paul even admonishes and warns against keeping company with believers who are walking disorderly.
1 Corinthians 5
9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.
10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person. (NKJV).
2 Thessalonians 3
14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (NKJV).
Don’t disdain, despise, or discard God’s admonition, instruction, or correction today as Jehoshaphat and Solomon did in their days and they ended awfully.
The Scripture warns,
“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.” (Prov. 13:18 NKJV).
“He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.” (Prov. 15:32 NKJV).
“A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.” (Prov. 15:5 NKJV).
Don’t be a fool! Heed your Heavenly Father’s instruction today.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I receive today divine wisdom and boldness to disentangle myself from any unequal yoke with the unbelievers and even believers walking disorderly, in Jesus’ name. Amen.