- 1 Kings 22:29-36
- 2 Chron. 19:1-3
- 1 Kings 22:37-40b, 52-53
- 2 Kings 3:4-5
- 2 Chron. 19:4-11; 20:1-30, 35-37
- 1 Kings 22:48-49
- 2 Kings 1:2-17a, 18, 17b; 3:1-3
Today's reading contains another of my favorite stories in all of GOD's word! This story is the battle of Judah and a great army of Gentiles.
1 It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 6 and said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? 7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ 10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.
14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 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. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. ... 17 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.”
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
(2 Chron. 20:1-18 NKJV)
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.”
22 Now 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. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much. 26 And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.
(2 Chron. 20:20-28 NKJV)
On this occasion, GOD chose to fight on Judah's behalf and defeat their enemies without requiring Judah's involvement at all. Judah's test was to stand and let GOD fight for them and believe that He would do so and they would be victorious. They couldn't doubt.
Notice what happened here. There was a problem. People were scared. It looked like there was no hope for victory—no way out of the situation. They took their problem to GOD, humbling themselves and asked for His help. GOD responded in a mighty way, requiring only their faith and obedience to a simple command (go out to face the army and stand there). The problem was handled, the enemies defeated, and the people went about rejoicing and praising GOD for His deliverance.
This is an exact pattern of how our life should be in our walk with GOD. We all make mistakes and we live in a sin-cursed world, so bad things will happen. Persecutions will happen. When problems arise we are to take them, with a humble spirit, to GOD and ask for His help and deliverance. He promises in His word that He will never leave us, that He is an ever-present help in times of need. Our job is to trust in Him and to obey His commands, not wavering in the face of temptation. He will come through, in His way, every single time. We will be amazed at how GOD chooses to solve our problems, because it is often in ways we didn't expect. And we go on our way rejoicing in our walk with Him because of His faithful care and provision for us. That's our Father. That's life in Christ.
Walk with GOD!