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February 28, 2015

WARFARE = The waging of war against an enemy; armed conflict.  Military operations marked by a specific characteristic.  A state of disharmony, conflict, and strife. Acts undertook to destroy or undermine the strength of another.  A contest or struggle.

Israel during the reign of King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam divided into the Northern and Southern tribes. Each of these tribes had their king, and unfortunately, most of the Northern tribes’ kings were ungodly and led the people into forsaking the laws of God. In the Southern tribe, which consisted of the people of Judah and Benjamin, there were several good kings that followed the laws of God. One of these kings was named Jehoshaphat, and one of the warfare experiences that happened during his reign chronicled in 2 Chronicles 20 will be the focus of this blog.

King Jehoshaphat learned that three nations consisting of the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites, were about to stage a military attack against his nation. King Jehoshaphat knew he did not know what to do, and he must go to the only one that could help him. 2 Chronicles 20:3-4 states, “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.” Jehoshaphat and the people understood the outcome of this attack would be devastating. They knew they need not delay; they needed direction and a solution.

As a nation of people, they came together, humbled themselves, fasted, and prayed. Jehoshaphat, as the leader of the nation, petitioned God. First, he acknowledges God’s past relationship with Israel, and then he avows God’s omniscient, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Next, he reminded God of His promise to save them if they sought Him before His temple and he ends his prayer asking God to judge these military invaders for he and the people were helpless and did not know what to do.

God gives the people this word through Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17). After hearing this word, King Jehoshaphat and the people bowed down and worshiped God, followed by the Levites standing up and praising God clamorously.

On the next morning the King encouraged the people with these words, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20). Then he appointed singers to go before the army praising the beauty of God’s holiness, and His mercy, which endures forever. As the Levite sang the Lord set up ambushments and the invading forces started fighting among themselves and destroying each other leaving an abundance of spoil and precious jewels which took Jehoshaphat and his people three days to gather. After this auspicious event, King Jehoshaphat and the people blessed the Lord and returned home with joy for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.

The enemy had planned a major attack on Judah, and they came with reinforcements. They wanted to strike fear in the hearts of the people, and they wanted their land. Our enemy functions in the same manner. He does not attack us with one thing; he piles things on, making us feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and fearful. He wants what we possess. He wants our peace.

When Jehoshaphat hears of the planned attack, he does not ignore it; he acknowledges it for what it is. When the enemy attacks us, it makes no sense to think he will go away without accomplishing his goal. Like Jehoshaphat, we need to seek help from the only one that can give us proper direction, and this may include a time of fasting and praying. Additionally, Jehoshaphat realized even though they had received a word, fear, if allowed, would attempt to cloud and distort what they heard, so he encouraged the people not to waver or be fearful.

Often when God directs us, we try to impose our thoughts and execute our plan, which often leads to failure. In this text, God provided the people with instructions which they did not alter, and they reaped a bountiful reward.

Finally, I think it is important to note that throughout this whole experience, the people maintained their contact with God in petition, worship, and singing words of praise and thanksgiving. Thus, despite what we may see, feel, or hear from our enemies lets follow this excellent example provided for us in this text and watch God fight our battle.

From → Test Series

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