Befriending the Wicked

After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted wickedly. He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish, and they built the ships in Ezion-geber. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” And the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish. 2 Chronicles 20:35-27.

This is the second time God sent rebuke for partnering with the wicked king of Israel. In both cases, it seems like he was just being friendly with his neighbor. And aren’t we supposed to be the friends of sinners?

Being a friend of sinners was something Jesus was accused of, but not what he really was. He reached out to sinners, taught them and healed them. He did not share in their activity. He forgave the woman caught in adultery. He did not practice it with her.

Today the church is unwilling to give or receive correction. We shy away from unpleasant conversations because we “don’t want to turn people off.” We become sinners to reach sinners, and leave them unchanged and ourselves compromised.

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