I have an old friend who believes that every truth taught in the New Testament has a perfect illustration in the Old Testament. This passage begins the perfect Old Testament story that illustrates the New Testament truth, “don’t be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals”  (1Corinthians 15:33).  Jehoram, the son of the good king Jehoshaphat, married Athaliah, the daughter of the bad king Ahab and the daughter of the most wicked queen, Jezebel. When we read the passage in Chronicles that tells us about Jehoram we learn that he killed all his brothers and others of the princes of Israel to ensure that he would have no competition on the throne (2 Chr. 21:4). Josephus expands on this, indicating he committed the murders at the prompting of Athaliah. It was through her influence the worship of Baal pervaded the court of Jerusalem, leading to the condemnation of both her husband, Jehoram, and their son Ahaziah.

Athaliah attempted to rule in Jerusalem herself after the death of her husband and son, but the people would not put up with her wickedness and she was executed in Jerusalem.

The Old Testament does not only give us examples, it too exhorts us regarding the truth of bad company.

The book of Proverbs repeatedly warns of the dangers of wrong associations:

• “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov. 13:20).

• “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip” (Prov. 20:19).

• “Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself” (Prov. 22:24–25).

• “Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags” (Prov. 23:20–21).

the central theme of corruption from bad influences seems to be that those who allow themselves to be corrupted by bad company almost always end up with the same outcome. Thus, Jehoram and Ahab end with the same epitaph, “they did evil in the sight of the Lord.”

See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)