King Jehoshaphat was a righteous man who ruled over Judah when the kingdom of Israel was divided. This man's heart was fully set on God, and he was blessed and honored above all others in his generation: "And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David" (2 Chronicles 17:3).
Yet, Scripture says, Jehoshaphat made an alliance with evil King Ahab, who ruled the northern kingdom of Israel: "Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab" (18:1). The Bible says of Ahab, "[He] did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him" (1 Kings 16:33).
You may wonder how a righteous king like Jehoshaphat ended up joined in alliance with such an ungodly man. I believe there is only one reason: It was part of a satanic plot to destroy the righteous Jehoshaphat!
You see, Jehoshaphat had purged the land, driving out all the idols of Baal and slaying the idolatrous prophets. Yet Ahab's wicked wife, Jezebel, worshiped Baal and she knew what Jehoshaphat had done to her idols. So she set her sights to bring down this godly man!
Jezebel devised a plot with her wicked daughter, Athaliah, to infiltrate Jehoshaphat's godly court. Athaliah met Jehoshaphat's son, Jehoram, and she used all her charms to win his heart. The plan worked and Jehoram chose to marry Athaliah. He asked his father for his blessing and foolishly, Jehoshaphat granted it.
Because of this marriage, evil had entered Jehoshaphat's inner circle and the devil must have danced with glee! Jehoshaphat could have warned his son that Athaliah was a rebellious woman who would lead him away from God, but he didn’t. He could have counseled him to drop the relationship right away but, instead, Jehoshaphat said nothing.
Jehoshaphat had the Scriptures available to him; David had stated very clearly: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1). Jehoshaphat knew this yet still he would not take a stand!