Written for the ancient people of God, but preserved for the current people of God. Spoken to a specific group of men so that they might hear and obey, but recorded for all men and women so that we might listen and apply. I’m no judge in Judah, but I am a servant in the kingdom. So I’m thinking I’d do well to pause from time to time and “consider what you do.”
Jehoshaphat, sixth king over Judah, was a reformer. He “sought the God of his father and walked in His commandments.” As such, the LORD, the God of his father, “was with Jehoshaphat” (2Chr 17:3-4). It would appear that Jehoshaphat actually did what the kings of God’s people were commanded to do, he read the Scriptures and sought to live and govern according to the Scriptures (Deut. 17:18-19).
And what was good for the king, was certainly good for his kingdom. So, early in his reign, he sought to ensure his people knew the ways of God by sending out his officials who “taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the LORD with them. They went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people” (2Chr. 17:9). In order for his people to live according to God’s Law, they needed first to know God’s law. Later, Jehoshaphat would appoint judges throughout Judah to adjudicate according to the Law.
And this morning it’s Jehoshaphat’s words to them which pop off the page and I take as the Spirit’s words for me. Consider what you do.
[Jehoshaphat] appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes.”
(2Chronicles 19:5-7 ESV)
Their’s was a solemn responsibility. Their’s was a culture shaping accountability. So, they were to serve not merely to feed their families. To serve not only at the pleasure of the king. But to serve knowing their work, ultimately, was “not for man but for the LORD.” It was His law they were to administer. As such, it would be His character and wisdom they were to represent. No wonder the fear of the LORD was to be upon them. No wonder they were to be careful in what they did. Good advice from their king / boss: Consider what you do.
I’m no judge in the kingdom of Judah, but I do have responsibilities in the body of Christ. I’m no officially recognized representative in this land, but I have been called to be an ambassador of a heavenly land. And whatever I do, whether in the church or in the world, I’m thinking I need to be careful with how I do it. Recognizing that, ultimately, I serve and work not for man, but for the LORD. Not at anyone’s pleasure, but for the Lord’s glory (1Cor. 10:31).
So, from time to time, in order to represent the King appropriately, I’m thinking it would be wise to pause, reflect, and consider what you do.
Because of grace. For God’s glory.