2 Chronicles 19:2
Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you.’
Should a Christian go to a bar? Ask me, fifteen to twenty years ago, I’d give you a hard NO. After graduation, all the while I thought, it was just the bible school’s version of legalism. I don’t do such, but when asked for a stand, my script was: for as long as you just order Coke, and not participate in their dirty talks, and not flirt around with strangers, then you’re safely hanging out with friends or cousins maybe - - in your hopes to soon bring them to Christ, right? But of course, I’d end with, ‘Still best if you’d rather not.’
I guess that too was Jehoshaphat’s line of reasoning. For as long as he’s right with God, rooted in the Scriptures, firm in his convictions, he’d be strong enough to stand for his faith even amidst idolaters. His allegiance to Ahab’s family by marriage was nothing but plain political. Who knows, maybe he can even persuade his Israelite brother to come to terms with God. We can see him in chapter eighteen exactly doing that. When Ahab proposed a tag-team against Syria to regain Ramoth-Gilead, he boldly said ‘First seek the counsel of the Lord’. That’s quite like an opening prayer before your friends have their vodkas. Impressive actually. And he did it twice. But he was outnumbered and thought it best to play cool. Against his will and God’s, he ended up quietly consenting to a war and to the imprisonment of the prophet Micaiah.
‘Should you love those who hate the Lord?’ was Jehu's rebuke to Jehoshaphat. Should we defend him and say, ‘Can’t we at least count that opening prayer as good?’ Yes, there were some good in that, but beside the point. He should have sought the Lord before going to that bar. Yes, evangelism is to those people, but would they respond amidst such socialization context? Will the Spirit ever prompt us to go to such places at any time? Sure you can think of more creative ways to deepen your relationship with your friends, without the risk of compromise. David’s warning is clear: do not walk, stand or sit in their sinful way of life. Believe that God can provide you with His appointed meeting grounds. But first, seek the Lord.