1 Kings 22:41-53

The New Rulers

41 Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.

45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might which he showed and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he [m]expelled from the land.

47 Now there was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place.

51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. 53 So he served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger, according to all that his father had done.

Here we see two men who walked in the way of their fathers, and also in the way of their predecessors. Jehoshaphat served God as did Asa (his father) and David (his ancestor), while Ahaziah followed the evil ways of his father Ahab (and mother Jezebel), just as they followed the example of Jeroboam.

It is of great importance to walk the path that you want your children to walk. The responsibility does not lie on the church, or a school to shape your child’s character. A parent’s example will be the single most formative influence on the child. Sure, a good role model can help with that. The church ought to assist a parent in showing children what it means to serve and follow Christ. And schools… well, they could model what is right and good for our children. But in most cases, we as parents have the hard task of showing our children what they should not model from what they have seen or learned in school.

If you want to shape the future generation, it starts at home, you are a powerful influence on that developing human being, and they have the potential to be a force for good in their own right. Do not take that lightly, but honor the incredible gift that God has entrusted you with.

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