"THE FACINATION WITH EVIL."
Intro. Basically Jehoshaphat was a good king. He sought the Lord, he instituted religious reforms, and his reign was blessed by God. He had one major flaw, he was fascinated with evil.
I. AHAB WAS PROBABLY THE MOST WICKED KING THAT EVER REIGNED OVER ISRAEL. THERE WAS NOT ONE GOOD THING ABOUT HIM, HE WAS JUST PLAIN EVIL. YET JEHOSHAPHAT WAS FASCINATED WITH HIM.
A. We read that Jehoshaphat joined affinity with Ahab.
1. He went north to his kingdom to visit with him.
B. What is it about evil that arouses our curiosity?
1. People who are otherwise good people can get caught up with a curiosity of evil.
2. I believe that many people today who have become trapped in sin started out in the path of sin because of curiosity.
3. It is like a moth that is attracted to the fire and continues to try to approach the flame until its wings become singed.
4. So often we see good men attracted to the flame and play around it until they are burned.
5. The scripture asks, "Can a man take fire to his bosom and not be burned?"
C. Jehoshaphat knew how wicked Ahab was, and he was fascinated by his wickedness.
1. Once there in that environment, his defenses were broken down, and he soon found himself doing things that he would never have done if he had only steered clear of the evil environment.
a. The scripture declares, "Evil companions corrupt good judgment."
b. This is so true, a person can be enticed into all kinds of foolish activities because of evil companions.
2. Ahab was planning on going out to war against the Syrians. It was not a war to defend themselves against an invasion, but just a fight to be fighting.
3. Since Jehoshaphat was there visiting, he asked him if he would like to go along with him to battle.
a. He should have just excused himself and gone home, but now under the peer pressure he consented to go.
b. Jehoshaphat answered Ahab, "I am with you and my people are with you. We will go with you to battle."
c. This was a fight that he had no business getting involved in, and it almost cost him his life, it did cost the life of king Ahab.
4. I think of how many times a good person gets into all kinds of trouble because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
D. Curiosity with evil is a dangerous thing and can catch you in a web.
1. I meet so many men today who are addicted to pornography.
a. It all started by a curiosity of evil.
b. They decided to rent an X-rated video just out of curiosity.
c. Or they logged onto a porno web site, out of curiosity.
d. They received some kind of vicarious thrill watching someone do things that they would never consider doing themselves yet watching someone do it was exciting, in an evil sort of way.
e. Paul describes them in Romans 1
where he said: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. If you get pleasure watching people get murdered or maimed on TV or you get excited watching someone committing fornication, then you are as guilty as if you were doing it yourself.
f. The scripture again warns, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, he will also reap. If we sow to the flesh, of the flesh, we will reap corruption, but if we sow to the spirit, of the spirit we will reap life everlasting."
g. What are you sowing into your mind?
2. You may be curious as to just what is available on the web, and try to log onto some porno site just out of curiosity, but curiosity can kill more than just the cat.
a. It can kill your marriage.
b. It can kill your relationship with God.
3. Paul wrote to the Romans that he would have them to be wise in that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
a. I do not need to know what goes on in topless bars.
b. I do not need to know about what is available on the internet.
II. WHEN JEHOSHAPHAT RETURNED HOME FROM THIS EXPEDITION INTO WICKEDNESS, A PROPHET OF GOD CAME OUT TO MEET HIM NAMED JEHU, HE WAS THE SON OF HANANI WHO HIS FATHER HAD IMPRISONED IN CHAPTER 16. HE REBUKED HIM SAYING: SHOULD YOU HELP THE UNGODLY, AND LOVE THEM THAT HATE THE LORD? THEREFORE THE WRATH OF GOD IS COMING UPON YOU. NEVERTHELESS, THERE ARE GOOD THINGS THAT ARE FOUND IN YOU, IN THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN AWAY THE GROVES OUT OF THE LAND, AND HAVD PREPARED YOUR HEART TO SEEK GOD.
A. You are not totally bad, you have just been doing some bad things that have the potential of getting you into big trouble.
B. I think that this is probably a good description of many of you today, you are not really bad, however you have not used good judgment and are in danger of becoming trapped in things that have the potential of destroying you. You are developing relationships that can only tear you down.
1. How can you love those that hate the Lord?
2. How can you seek their friendship?
3. David said, "Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate You? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies."
4. We are warned in the New Testament about being unequally yoked with an unbeliever.
5. There are so many brokenhearted, devastated people today who thought they could disobey that commandment and find happiness in an unequal yoke.
III. YOU WOULD THINK THAT THE NARROW ESCAPE WITH HIS LIFE, AND THE REBUKE OF THE PROPHET WOULD CURE THIS CURIOSITY THAT JEHOSHAPHAT HAD WITH EVIL, BUT NOT SO.
A. In chapter 20 we read:
And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly:
1. After what?
2. After a great victory that the Lord had given him over a group of nations that had invaded the land.
3. It was a battle in which they did not have to fight, the word of the Lord came to them saying:
You will not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves and stand still and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD [will be] with you.
4. After Jehoshaphat had exhorted the people saying:
Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper.
5. Then we read:
And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which had come against Judah; and they were smitten.
B. After all of these manifestations of God's presence with them Jehoshaphat again joined with the wicked king to the north.
C. This is totally unreasonable, but is a good illustration of the powerful hold that the curiosity of evil can have on your life.
1. It will lead you to do things that you know are wrong.
2. If someone would ask you, "Why in the world would you do such a dumb thing?" You would have no answer.
D. Purity is a great treasure, guard it carefully.
1. We are commanded in the scripture to "Keep your heart with all diligence." Why? "Out of it [are] the issues of life."
2. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
3. Paul wrote to Timothy: "Now the result of keeping the commandments is to cause you to love with a pure mind, give you a clean conscience, and a true faith."
4. He told him to, "Flee youthful lusts, follow after righteousness, faith, hope, and love, to hang out with those that call on the Lord with a pure heart."
E. What this lesson teaches us.
1. Choose your friends carefully. Make certain that they build you up spiritually rather than tear you down.
2. Be simple concerning evil. You do not need to know the extent of evil available in the world today.
3. Guard your mind diligently, do not let evil be sown into it.