READ: 2 Chronicles 18-19
THINK: Julius Caesar was masterful at creating alliances that furthered his military and political career in Rome. In fact, the Roman Empire might never have come to be in the manner it did if Caesar hadn’t joined with two other powerful generals, Pompey and Crassus, in an alliance known as The Triumvirate. Eventually that alliance fell apart. Crassus was killed and Caesar and Pompey essentially fought a war for control of Rome. In the early 40’s BC Caesar made another alliance with a man name Marcus Brutus. Brutus was a highly ambitious politician whom Caesar saw as useful in governing the affairs of Rome so he made Brutus a part of his inner circle and gave him a number of important offices.
Eventually Brutus was a member of the Roman Senate at a time when Caesar had consolidated his power and been named “Dictator for Life.” There were a number of Senators that were wary of Caesar who wanted to move against his growing power, but Caesar counted on his ally Brutus, among others, to defend him in the Senate and help his cause. On March 15, 44 BC he learned just how costly a bad alliance could be. As he arrived at the Senate chambers he was brutally attacked and stabbed by a number of Senators and he looked up and saw Brutus among them. He had been betrayed. It is said that when Caesar saw Brutus among the attackers he covered his head and resigned himself to his fate, possibly even uttering as his last words, “Et tu, Brute?” – Even you, Brutus?
Not all alliances are mutually beneficial. In fact, some can be very costly. In 2 Chronicles we read the story of Jehoshaphat, the God-fearing king of Judah, joining in an alliance with Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, to fight against Syria. The narrative doesn’t explain why Jehoshaphat joined in the foolish bond, what he hoped to get out of it, or how he came to the conclusion that allying himself with Ahab in any way was wise. And clearly it wasn’t.
Ahab’s wickedness shows through his actions very clearly. Why did Ahab disguise himself for the battle but then encourage Jehoshaphat to put on his kingly robes? He knew the Syrians would go after the king and attempt to kill him. He thought he could save his own life and his own power by putting Jehoshaphat in harm’s way. But after Jehoshaphat was surrounded – just as Ahab had planned – he cried out to God and was saved. And Ahab ended up getting killed by a stray arrow.
Even though Jehoshaphat was saved, it is still clear in this passage that his choice to ally himself with Ahab was a wrong one. Instead of trusting God completely, he decided to team up with an evil, vile, wicked king. He aligned himself with someone who wasn’t aligned with God. And it nearly cost him his life and his kingdom.
It is important for us to love lost people and to reach out to those who are far from God. But we need to be careful how we are aligning ourselves with them. We need to be cautious about the temptation to hitch our horse to their wagon, so to speak. Loving people is key. Aligning ourselves with those who hate God is dangerous. It is deadly. Right and wrong simply cannot be partners; one will always lose.
PRAY: Thank God today for the way he provides and for being worthy of our trust. Ask him to help you show love to broken people while exercising great wisdom and discernment in you interactions with them. Ask him to help you not to partner with evil, even when it seems like the easy or logical thing to do.