“And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.”
II Chronicles 17:6
Jehoshaphat continued to bring about national reform by ridding the land of the places of false worship. This was a step that most leaders of Israel or Judah were not willing to attempt, and was certainly one of the most challenging decisions for any leader. It is one thing to prevent some evil practice from beginning, but quite another thing to remove it after it has been permitted.
One cannot help but wonder what it might be like if such a revival occurred in our nation. Few leaders are willing to honestly and seriously deal with the real roots of our nation’s problems. Imagine what it might be like if the sale of alcoholic drinks became illegal. What if adultery, sodomy, pornography, abortion, and gambling were again considered criminal activity? What kind of faith and courage would it require to rid our land of the false worship of satan, or to make it a requirement that the biblical account of creation be taught in our government schools? What would it take for the Lord’s Day to be recognized and reverenced as it once was in this land?
We admire the spiritual courage that caused Jehoshaphat to implement radical reforms in his nation. Even if these changes were not legislated in our country, a sure sign of regeneration and revival would be the forsaking of such sinful behavior in the lives of individuals. This is an indication of true repentance. When God was working in Ephesus and when people were serious about cleansing their lives before the Lord, they burned the residue of their sinful practices. They purposed to leave a life of rebellion and cleave to the Lord. This is the kind of attitude toward sin that we need not only in our nation, but also in our churches and in our individual hearts and homes. It must have been a tremendous challenge for a leader like Jehoshaphat, to cleanse a nation of compromise and sin that was previously acceptable. We can see how much easier it would have been if such behavior would never have been allowed to begin with. You never have to stop a habit you never begin.
If we could personalize this practice of Jehoshaphat, we could see the need of cleansing our own lives of sin. Tolerated sin is too common in our day. However, simply acknowledging sin is not enough. We must be willing to forsake it; purging it from our lives.