King Jehoshaphat reigned successfully over Judah for twenty-five years. The Bible says, he walked in the ways of his father Asa, and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (II Chronicles 20:32 NIV). But as time went on, Jehoshaphat lost his focus and started wavering in his devotion to God. He listened to ungodly people. He did not remove the altars of foreign gods from the lands, and he joined in an alliance with wicked King Ahaziah to build a fleet of trading ships.
The money in building ships probably looked good to Jehoshaphat, and he began to seek the advice of the ungodly king, who was very prosperous. When Jehoshaphat listened to the voice of God, he had prospered. In one battle he acquired more treasures than he could carry off in three days (v. 25)! God never told him to get involved in ship building. Maybe Jehoshaphat thought the two men would just be in partnership together and he wouldn’t serve Ahaziah’s gods. But everything Jehoshaphat did after that failed. The ships were wrecked and totally destroyed. The next thing we read about Jehoshaphat is that he died. How sad!
Earlier, Jehoshaphat himself had said, Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe in his prophets, so shall ye prosper (v. 20). None of us can afford to depart from the Word of God and follow counsel from the wrong people. When Jehoshaphat followed God, he was established. When we believe God and follow His counsel, He can establish and prosper us in every area of our lives.