But Jehoshaphat king of Judah got home safe and sound.
Jehu, son of Hanani the seer, confronted King Jehoshaphat: "You have no business helping evil, cozying up to God-haters. Because you did this, God is good and angry with you.
But you're not all bad - you made a clean sweep of the polluting sex-and-religion shrines; and you were single-minded in seeking God."
Jehoshaphat kept his residence in Jerusalem but made a regular round of visits among the people, from Beersheba in the south to Mount Ephraim in the north, urging them to return to God, the God of their ancestors.
And he was diligent in appointing judges in the land - each of the fortress cities had its judge.
He charged the judges: "This is serious work; do it carefully. You are not merely judging between men and women; these are God's judgments that you are passing on.
Live in the fear of God - be most careful, for God hates dishonesty, partiality, and bribery."
In Jerusalem Jehoshaphat also appointed Levites, priests, and family heads to decide on matters that had to do with worship and mediating local differences.
He charged them: "Do your work in the fear of God; be dependable and honest in your duties.
When a case comes before you involving any of your fellow citizens, whether it seems large (like murder) or small (like matters of interpretation of the law), you are responsible for warning them that they are dealing with God. Make that explicit, otherwise both you and they are going to be dealing with God's wrath. Do your work well or you'll end up being as guilty as they are.
"Amariah the chief priest is in charge of all cases regarding the worship of God; Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, is in charge of all civil cases; the Levites will keep order in the courts. Be bold and diligent. And God be with you as you do your best."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)