2Ch 17:1-4 KJV And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. (2) And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. (3) And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; (4) But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.
The Word is full of Wisdom and Practical Tips on how to live your life, and how to show others a picture of God.
For example, the person in the scripture was raised with a name like “Jehoshaphat” – how can we get any value out of this? I wonder, if as a young man, he was upset with his parents for such a name. Unless you understand that the name is a combination of words that means, “Jehovah Judged” … Maybe you could enjoy the fact that you are named for God, but to be a judge?
This reminded me of a song by Johnny Cash some time back… Read these lyrics and see if you can guess the title.
And he said, “Son, this world is rough
And if a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help you along
So I give you that name and I said goodbye
I knew you’d have to get tough or die
And it’s the name that helped to make you strong”
If you guessed, “A Boy Named Sue” then you get a gold star! In this song the boy grew up searching for his low-down dad that named him with a girls name. Of course, the ending of the song was the re-uniting of father and son.
So, how would you like to be remembered? By some monicker that your parents stuck you with? Or by your character and life that was lived for something better than you.
In our scripture we find that Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of his father, and the early ways of his predecessor, King David. David was known as the one who was “after God’s own heart.” David was known as the King who served God and had the heart of God on his mind all the time.
In fact, as we read about Jehoshaphat we find that these few verses would be well used as his memorial statement – something penned and placed on his headstone. Memorial words that speak volumes of a life well lived.
As I thought through these things I immediately begin to think of all the young people who knew Jehoshaphat and modeled their lives after him, perhaps, or even those later in life who read these words and it changed their lives in such a way as to be a child of God even more focused than before.
In my life, I think of my parents and can identify part of the traits of who I am and from which one of them it comes from. In fact, I can probably back up several generations and see my physical traits and can point to my predecessors and note who I most look like. Then I think of several men in my ministry life that I have modeled some of my traits and behaviors after.
As I pondered these thoughts I consider the children that surround us. We live in a world where so many role models come from Hollywood or Sports figures – people who do not live a moral or upright life. All the children see are the persona’s and fame that these folks have and they want to be like them. We dress them up in their costumes because it’s popular.
When I was about six or so, I wanted to look like Timmy. From Lassie. My hair, my shirt, jeans and shoes. I remember a school picture where I would tell you that was the time I wanted to be like him. Of course, I never had a dog like Lassie, but that would have completed the picture.
Who are your children emulating today? Will it be someone of lasting value to give them a role model to grow into? Who will they speak about in their adult lives that were role models for them as they grew up? Will it be you? A teacher? A pastor? And who will they teach their children to emulate…
Something to think about…