Asa’s son was Jehoshaphat, one of the best of Judah’s kings. “His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.” (1 Kings 22, 42.) “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; but sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in His commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honor in abundance. And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 17:3-6). Again; “thou hast prepared thine heart to seek God;” (2 Chronicles 19:3). Although “as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.” (20:33). The Lord seems to delight to heap His praises on this good king. Read the story of King Jehoshaphat for yourselves in 2 Chronicles from the beginning of Chapter 17 to the first verse of Chapter 21, and drink in the pure joy and gladness of the mighty victory over the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and the others who came against Jehoshaphat, as recorded in the Twentieth Chapter. Hear the noble words of strong faith: “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” And that faith bursts forth (as indeed it so often does with us ourselves on lesser occasions) in songs of praise: “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise was before God wrought for them, in overthrowing their enemies. Do you think God could let them be defeated with that song of praise, raised by faith, coming up before Him? Impossible! “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.” And so there was a mighty victory, and it took three days to carry off the spoil, and on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Blessing; for there they blessed the Lord.


          Blessed path of faith and song, that ever leads to victory; (for, The joy of the Lord is your strength); and then to the Valley of Blessing. May we each one know more and more of that blessed path. Long ago, before any of you were born our house was filled with song. A dear friend had given us a beautiful canary in a brass cage for a wedding present, and it set us a good example, which your Mother loved to follow. But somehow or other the singing grew less, and then it ceased; though we did not notice it, until our canary followed our example, and gave up its song. And then we realized that something was wrong and through God’s mercy the songs came back to our house once more. May you dear ones never lose the songs from your hearts and homes!


          I wish we could end the story of Jehoshaphat here, but sad to say, we cannot, for the record reads: “And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly.” (2 Chronicles 20:35). They made ships together to go to Tarshish, but the Lord broke them, “that they were not able to go to Tarshish.” In 1 Kings 22:49, it would seem that Jehoshaphat had learned the sad lesson that we cannot be joined with the ungodly, and we find that on this occasion he refused to join with Ahaziah.


          But the Holy Spirit seems to cover some of the failure of Jehosphaphat, for love covers a multitude of sins, and it is not until we get to 2 Chronicles 21:6 that we find that Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, had for wife the daughter of Ahab. And this daughter of Ahab made the son of this good king Jehoshaphat go far astray. “He wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord.” How could it be otherwise? He reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Sad record of a wicked king: son of one of the best of all the kings of Judah: and all because of his wife. And that wife came through his father’s unholy alliance, perhaps only for a short time, with an evil man. What a solemn lesson for us. He lost his son through that alliance with Ahaziah.


          But this is not the end of the tragic story. Jehoram’s son was Ahaziah, (perhaps named after his uncle, the wicked king of Israel), his mother was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, one of the most wicked women that ever lived. Jehoram’s grandson was Joash, the baby king saved by his aunt Jehoshabeath, (what a word of encouragement for the aunts!) and his great grandson was Amaziah. If we turn to the First Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, we will find that these three kings Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, are blotted out of “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” They are not reckoned at all in our Savior’s genealogy. But there we read “Joram (or, Jehoram) begat Ozias (or, Uzziah)”, (Matthew 1:8). The shame of it, the tragedy, the eternal loss, to this great and good man; and all for the sake of being friends with the world; and perhaps for the sake of getting a little of the gold of Tarshish. The price he had to pay was far, far too high for the gain he hoped to get. And so will you dear ones find, if you, like Jehoshaphat, venture on the friendship of the world. David brought blessings on his family for four generations: Jehoshaphat brought a curse. May God keep us, for we cannot keep ourselves.


          I will not stop to speak of the base ingratitude of Joash, or the divided heart of Amaziah his son. (2 Chronicles 25:2). May God Himself guard us from these evils to which we also are equally prone. You will note that Joash was slain by his own servants, and one of these was the son of an Ammonitess, and the other the son of a Moabitess, solemn, silent comment of the Scriptures on the disobedience which could not only permit such marriages (strictly forbidden in the Scriptures), but could even bring their offspring to serve at court.


          You will notice through these chapters how often the name of the mother is recorded: as in 25:1; 26:3; 27:1. You dear mothers: what a weight of responsibility rests on your shoulders; and you may not hand it over to another, no not even were you a queen; it is still your own special responsibility to train those precious darlings, while their hearts are still young and tender, in the way the Lord would have them go. The years will pass all too quickly; and before you are aware, you will find it is too late, if you do not seize the opportunity the Lord gives to you while the children are little. All the gold of Tarshish cannot make up for the loss, if their names are blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life, because you were too busy here and there to train them for your Lord.