It’s hard to find fault with king Jehoshaphat. After all, he seems to be an excellent administrator, he sent missionaries throughout the towns of Judah teaching the law of the Lord, and he removed the high places and destroyed the idols that dotted the land.
So righteous was Jehoshaphat that the other nations took note of his piety and success and grew to respect the Lord.
So when Jehu the seer met him and told him that the wrath of God was coming upon him, we have to wonder why? What did he do wrong?
Perhaps the answer comes in comparing 19:2 and 18:1. In allying himself with Ahab, God saw it as loving “those who hate the Lord.”
One should not take this as requiring the faithful to cut off all association with unbelievers. The problem with Ahab was that he made no bones about his disdain for God. Despite this, Jehoshaphat treated him like family. There is a difference between a struggler and a rebel. Jehoshaphat had trouble making the distinction. We certainly don’t want to so distance ourselves from those closest to us because they are sinners. We are all sinners. But there is a difference between someone who sins, and someone who gives himself over to sin without the slightest regard for God. Allying ourselves with those people to the extent that we tie our fortunes to their lives is unacceptable to God.