Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by W. C. Neff
“Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they didn’t go there because the ships were broken at Ezion-geber.”
—I Kings 22:48
Years before, when king Solomon had sent the same kind of ships, they had returned safely. But here Jehoshaphat’s vessels never reached the land of gold. And this should be a lesson for us all— that God may prosper one person on one occasion while frustrating another on a different occasion.
May we have grace today, as we think about this truth, to bless the Lord for the broken ships in our lives as well as for those that have brought us temporal blessings. Let’s not envy the more successful nor murmur at our losses as though we alone have been tested like this. Like Jehoshaphat, we are precious in the Lord’s sight, even if our plans end in disappointment.
The secret cause of Jehoshaphat’s loss is well worth noting because it is the root of much suffering for God’s people; it was his alliance with a sinful family– his fellowship with sinners. He aligned himself with Ahaziah, and, after the Lord rebuked him, he seems to have learned from his mistake. In the following passage, we find him refusing to allow his servants to sail in the same ships as those of the wicked king.
If only Jehoshaphat’s experience would warn the rest of the Lord’s people to avoid being unequally partnered with unbelievers! A life of misery is usually the consequence of those who are united with men of the world— in marriage or in any other way. O that we would love Jesus and be like him: holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. For, if it isn’t so with us, we may expect to hear it often said, “The Lord has foiled your plans! [M&E]