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13. Jehoshaphat, King of the Lord God

October 12, 2010

 

Text:    II Chronicles 20:1-30 

Outline:           I.    Jehoshaphat Leads Judah before the Lord           II Chronicles 20:1-13

                        II.   God Hears and Answers                                      II Chronicles 20:14-17

                        III. Judah Worships and Obeys God                          II Chronicles 20:18-21

                        IV. God is Faithful and Judah Worships                    II Chronicles 20:22-30 

Context/Discussion/Comments:

                 This portion of scripture details and explains II Chronicles 17:4,10.  It is also a real life example of what it means to walk with God.  Jehoshaphat has made war against idolatry and promoted the worship of God at His Temple in Jerusalem.  Thus, he has been rewarded with peace and respect from neighboring nations.  Jehoshaphat gave in to peer pressure and allied with King Ahab against Aram.  Perhaps that is the reason God allows Moab and Ammon to attack Judah, to test Jehoshaphat’s commitment to Him.

                 Moab and Ammon assembled a large army and march through Edom into Judah as far as En Gedhi on the west side of the Dead Sea.  Jehoshaphat is surprised by this news and immediately seeks the Lord’s counsel and calls Judah to fast and come to Jerusalem [families, not just the men] to be present and also seek the Lord’s counsel. 

                 At their assembly, Jehoshaphat leads them in prayer.  Jehoshaphat and Judah:

Acknowledge:     

  • God is their God.
  • God is sovereign over the nations.
  • God is powerful and they have seen and experienced His might.

Give thanks:

  • God has guided them into this Promised Land.
  • God is dwelling with them in His Temple.

Commit:

  • They will remain faithful to God regardless of what happens and await His salvation.

Ask:

  • God to judge Moab and Ammon because they  have an insurmountable problem, they are powerless, and they don’t know how to respond.

Confirm:

  • Their faith [dependence and trust] is in God.

                 God’s Spirit speaks through Jehaziel telling Jehoshaphat and the people not to fear because the battle is His to fight.  They are to go out to the Desert of Jeruel and get into position to fight but they do not need to fight because the Lord is fighting for them.  They are not to fear or be discouraged because God is with them.  Upon hearing this, Jehoshaphat and Judah bow in worship again and the Levites lead them in praising God. 

                 Judah’s army is sent out and Jehoshaphat speaks to them, encouraging them to have faith in the Lord and what Jehaziel has proclaimed.  Judah’s army leaves for battle singing praises and thanksgiving to God because of His love for them.  As they marched and worshipped, the Lord set up ambushes between the invading armies so that they destroyed one another.  All that was left for Judah to do was observe the destruction, gather the plunder, and praise God again.

                 Judah’s army returns to Jerusalem and they all worship the Lord God.  The surrounding nations feared the Lord and gave Judah peace because of  this miraculous victory. 

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. Consistency in calling upon the Lord and worshipping Him is our most powerful weapon against those who would do us harm.  Call on Him daily.  Call on others to help you call on the Lord.
  2. Recognize that God keeps His promises, to honor those who honor Him.  Destruction is the result of any who choose to attack those whom God loves.
  3. God blesses nations whose leaders are dedicated to seeking the Lord, who acknowledge their dependence on Him, and who encourage their people to do likewise.  Remember this when you enter the voting booth.
  4. There is great strength and outpouring of God’s power when families gather together to worship God, to thank Him for His past blessings, to bring their needs before Him, and to commit their lives to Him regardless of circumstances.  Your church’s worship service should/must reflect and practice these principles.
  5. God doesn’t always speak through our leaders but through those filled with His Spirit.  When seeking direction in life, go before the Lord in the company of others and then listen for His answer.  The Lord’s answer will begin with “do not fear because I am with you”.
  6. Worshipping God, seeking His help, and obeying His Will are one.  Eliminating one of these weakens or may even break the band of unity and fellowship with Him.
  7. Our prayers should follow a similar outline to that which Jehoshaphat led the people.  Note the similarity with the Prayer Model given in this Commentary.
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