October 16, 2022
This week our reading was 2 Chronicles 11-20. These chapters focused on the kings of Judah after Solomon. Out of the 20 kings of Judah, only 8 were considered good kings. The chapters assigned for this week focused on Rehoboam who was evil, Abijah who was evil, Asa who was good, and Jehoshaphat who was good. We are going to discuss Chapter 20, which is when Jehoshaphat was king.
2 Chronicles 17:3-6 says, “The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. …His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.”
During Jehoshaphat’s reign, he showed devotion to the LORD and turned his people to the Him as well. Even with his devotion, he found that trouble was on the way. This is what I want to delve in to. We can learn the steps Jehoshaphat followed to deal with the problem, and apply them to our lives when we encounter difficulty.
2 Chronicles 20:2 states, “Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea.”
- An impending attack: Jehoshaphat, even though he had devoted himself to the LORD, found he was going to be attacked by 3 different armies. This was his problem or difficulty. What is the difficulty you may be facing?
- Fear: 2 Chronicles 20:3 states the king was “alarmed.” The word in Hebrew means frightened or afraid. Because the people were going to be attacked, the king was afraid. Are you afraid because of the difficulty you are or will be facing?
Steps the king took:
- Consult the LORD: 2 Chronicles 20:3 states, “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD.” The king did not consult his court, his wife, or his friends. He consulted the LORD. This is something we should do as well. There are times we go to others first, and if we have not found a solution, we then consult God. Why not consult the LORD the first?
- Fast: 2 Chronicles 20:3 states, “he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.” This is the first time in the Bible that we see a fast proclaimed by a king. He wanted all to given up a bodily requirement for a time, to be humble and seek the LORD .
- Ask others to pray and seek help: 2 Chronicles 20:4 states, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD, indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”
- Prays with others and remembers what God has done in the past: 2 Chronicles 20:5-9 states, “Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.”
- Be humble, trust, and look to the LORD: 2 Chronicles 20:12 states, “…For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
- He wants us to listen to Him: 2 Chronicles 20:15 states, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! “When we pray to God, we need to listen for His response.
- Do not be afraid: 2 Chronicles 20:15 says, “This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the vast army. “
- God is the reason we don’t need to fear: 2 Chronicles 20:15 says, “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” This is one of my favorite verses. We need to give it to God so he can fight the battle for us.
- Face the battle, but watch the LORD is with you and will deliver you from the fight: 2 Chronicles 20:17 states, “Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”
What the people did:
- Worshipped and praised the LORD: 2 Chronicles 20:18-19 says, “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
- Had faith in the LORD and continued to praise Him: 2 Chronicles 20:20-21 states, “Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tedoa. As they set out, Jegoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful. After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as then went out at the head of the army, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”
God did fight the battle for Jehoshaphat and the people. He and the men of Judah did not have to lift a finger to win this battle and those from Judah were successful.
I don’t know what is going on in your life. What problem or difficulty you may be facing. It could be a physical ailment, or something financial. You could be having relationship difficulty. What ever the issue is, take the steps that Jehoshaphat took. Turn to God first in prayer. Praise the Lord for what he has done already in your life. Listen and don’t worry about the situation. Know that the LORD will fight the battle for you. Don’t run away. Don’t drown your sorrows in things of this world. Fight the battle with the best weapon, the LORD. Worship and praise the LORD and give thanks to the LORD for his love does endure forever.
Will God always answer your prayers with a “yes”, as He did here. He may answer “yes”, “no” or “wait”. Thus, here are a few more tips about praying in a difficult situation.
- Pray for God’s will. Pray as Christ prayed in the garden before he was to be crucified. Matthew 26:39 says, “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” We pray in God’s will.
- Don’t be anxious: Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Again, give the matter over to God and let Him fight the battle.
- Accept God’s will no matter the answer: In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul states, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul prayed 3 times to have this pain taken away, but it was not. Paul accepts God’s “no” as his answer to prayer. There will be times God says “no’ to us as well. Let us try to be as Paul and accept our weakness and let God shine through us.
Are you trying to take control of a difficult situation in your life? Give it to the LORD and let him fight your battle.
Next week we will read 2 Chronicles 21-36. Have a blessed weeks.