In the third year of his reign he (Jehoshaphat) sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people. 2 Chronicles 17:7-9
This verse mentions sixteen people by name. Jehoshaphat sends out a large team to teach God’s people from the Book of the Law. In this day when people had few reading skills and little access to written material, this must have been a blessing. Even from a social perspective, when travel was slow and difficult, to have a team of sixteen people arrive in your town must have caused quite a stir.
Today’s equivalent might be having a well-known speaker come to your area or perhaps attending a conference. These are occasions where we can set aside dedicated time to learn more of God’s Word and his purposes. They are uplifting times where our faith is built up through the teaching and the fellowship of others.
This wasn’t the only time Jehoshaphat sent out a teaching team. Later after he behaved badly regarding Ahab (19:2), he was restored, and like David before him, he desired to turn others back to faith in God. “Then I will teach your ways to those who commit lawless acts. And sinners will turn back to you” (Psalm 51:13).
Today we have greater access to God’s word and teaching materials, yet it’s still important to set aside times when we can be refreshed and renewed through extended teaching times and fellowship with others.