Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Lesson from Jehoshaphat

For various reasons, the story of Jehoshaphat has been on my mind lately. You can find the one I’m referring to in 2 Chronicles 20.

Jehoshaphat was the King of Israel at this time. The armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir all joined together to try and conquer Israel. Jehoshaphat was warned prior to being attacked that the armies were coming his way. In response to the warning, he sought the Lord for guidance. He then proclaimed a time of fasting and prayer throughout his people.

Jehoshaphat continued to seek the Lord. He prayed a prayer asking the Lord to deliver them from the attacks. The night before they were to be attacked, Jahaziel (the son of Zechariah) told the people not to be afraid. Here is what he told them.
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 (NKJV)

When the time came to face the enemy he did something that most would find unbelievable. He was greatly outnumbered by the armies approaching. He didn’t send his best warriors out front. Instead, he sent his best worshipers out front. The scripture says that “when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated”.

Here is what happened. The three armies that joined together to attack Israel, turned on each other and killed each other. When Jehoshaphat and his army came to the battle grounds, there was no one left to fight, they were all dead. They also were then able to collect valuables from the defeated armies. Scripture says it took them three days to collect all of it! The Lord fought and won the battle for them and they got the goods left behind.

There are many important lessons in this one chapter of scripture. One of the biggest for me is the power of prayer, fasting, and worship. I believe greatly in all three. The second is what it says in verse seventeen. “You will not need to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!”

The battle is the Lords (and it is) but I’m drawn by what this verse says: position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. Let the Lord fight the battles (because it isn’t your job to do that) but position yourself. Worship, pray, and fast at times to ensure that you are in a position to stand back and see the salvation of the Lord.

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