And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; ~2 Chronicles 17:3
There is something about being first that stands out. In baseball, you need to get to first base before you can cover the other bases. There is something about a baby’s first steps when the parents are teaching him how to walk. There is the excitement of getting to drive a car for the first time, or taking your first trip on an airplane. For single people, there is a lot of excitement about going on the very first date. First implies a precedent. First implies a priority. First implies no deviation or distraction. We read that Jehoshaphat was successful because he walked in the first ways of his father David.
There is the impressive PRECEDENT.
What were the first ways of his father, David? David sought God with all his heart. David was a man of incredible faith. With only a sling in his hand and five smooth stones, he dared to take on a giant that towered at least three and half feet above him. David was a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was very cognizant of the Spirit’s presence in his life for success. David was a man wholly devoted to the Word of God. He wrote Ps. 1 and Ps. 19 which describe the importance of God’s Word in one’s life. He served his generation by the will of God. David had an undivided loyalty to the worship of God. More than anything else in his life, he desired to build a temple for the worship of God. He dreamed about dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. David set the bar high. David established an impressive precedence on living for God and loving Him with all his heart.
There are the important PRACTICES.
Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of his father David. He did and practiced what David did. There are critical first ways we must practice every day of our life. We must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. God demands first place in our heart and desires. We must make God’s Word and prayer the first thing we do. The Lord’s Day is the first day of the week. We assemble with God’s people for the worship of God and stimulating one another to good works. As God has prospered us, we must set aside our tithe and offerings on the first day of the week . Judgment must begin first in the house of God. “First” implies we give God our best. It implies we give God of our abundance. It implies we that we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We must be careful not to leave our first love. We must repeat the first things all the time. First requires us to commit to best practices all the time.
There is the impeccable PRODUCT.
We read that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat. Then, we read that the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand. He acquired the love and respect of the people. His enemies even made peace and paid tribute to him. “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” He had riches and honor in abundance. God made him successful. God gave him peace. We read that he built and had much business. He was blessed of God. He proved he could be trusted with position, possessions, and people. God blessed him with more because God knew Jehoshaphat would do right. He became the prime example to his generation of a man after God’s own heart.
Don’t neglect the first ways! The first ways are the impressive precedent that teach us the important practices and provide us with an impeccable product.
Have a God-first God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 30-32