Dangerous Alliances with God-haters
The disciple of Jesus Christ walks carefully proclaiming the gospel to the lost but avoiding alliances with those who hate God.
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 19:1-2
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19
Jehoshaphat had a great reign going until he went astray making a marriage alliance with Ahab, king of Israel. Ahab was described as one who hated the Lord. Why did the king who had taken such care to seek the Lord and walk in His commandments (2 Chronicles 17:4) abruptly throw in his lot with the rebellious king Ahab? Maybe he hoped to reunify the nation. Maybe he hoped to move Israel back to faithfulness to God. Neither of those goals was bad in itself. But in allying with Ahab, Jehoshaphat became a participant in that king’s disobedience. He ignored the wise counsel of Micaiah who stood up to the 400 lying prophets. He entered a battle that God had not sanctioned and nearly lost his life. In the end he was rebuked for his foolishness.
Jesus warned His disciples to expect hatred from the world. They had been chosen out of the world and would receive the same treatment that their master had received, for “a servant is not greater than his master” (vs. 20). One who abides in Christ will be fruitful but will also be persecuted.
Think about it
It may seem extreme but there are people who hate God. It was true in Jehoshaphat’s day, in Jesus’ day, and in our day. Jehoshaphat paid a price for ignoring this reality. The disciples received the Lord’s advice to look for opposition from those who hated Him.
Two lessons are clear. One, beware of alliances with those who hate God. Marriage and business partnerships between believers and unbelievers are out of bounds. Two, be prepared to experience rejection, opposition, and even hatred for your identification with Jesus Christ. We are not to withdraw from the world, but rather hold forth the truth in a dark society. Walk in His steps. Proclaim the gospel without compromise. But flee dangerous alliances.