Jehoshaphat is a bright light in the record of the kings of Judah, because He remained faithful to God throughout his life. Even the faithful endure trouble in this sin-fallen world and he was presented with his share of difficulties that he personally did nothing to cause. Likewise, the life of a believer who cherishes the word and the ways of God is rewarded with the favor of God, but not without enemies that arise or difficult situations that require faith and wisdom. What should the righteous do in times of trouble? Study with us to find out.
13 And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
Verse 13 is an odd place to enter this account. Previously, King Jehosophat had ruled in peace until a multitude of the enemies of Israel joined forces led by the nation of Ammon and the Nation of Moab to surround and destroy them. He had every reason to be fearful of such a large and growing threat as these forces joined with soldiers from all over the region, including Mt. Seir, the nation of the Edomites. The Edomites descended from Esau’s children, and they were fierce warriors who built awe-inspiring cities in sheer rock cliffs. Historically, Moab and Ammon are descendants of Abraham’s nephew Lot. When Moses led the Hebrews through the wilderness, God did not allow them to destroy Ammon and Moab. It had been the mercy of God to allow them to remain. Now, that mercy was rewarded by betrayal and threats of annihilation.
The women and children mentioned above, as well as the priests, advisors, and leaders of the nation of Judah, were gathered together to hear what the response of King Jehosophat would be. He had declared a fast. He had prayed and sought the Lord. He stood on the word of God given to Solomon that if they were ever in trouble, surrounded by their enemies, that they should pray toward where God had placed his name and His presence and that their prayers would be heard and answered. So, they waited from the small to the great, to hear from Heaven and to follow God’s command. At the approach of such a powerful enemy army, I’m sure the waiting was a strained one, and yet, it was King Jehosophat’s finest hour. The battle he fought and won, was the battle of fear versus trust. In their own strength, they were no match for the confederacy gathered to destroy them, so the victory was won in the waiting.
14 Then 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, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;
15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
A voice arose, speaking in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit of God. The fight was not between nations or armies. This fight was between God and those who challenged his authority. When we surrender our lives to God and follow Him in obedience to His word, we can also surrender the responsibility of the outcome. The battle belongs to the Lord, and in His will, we win. When we line up toe to toe with our enemy, we are outmatched, so step aside and allow the God of the universe to take your place. There is safety in his presence.
6 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.
In Hebrew Jeruel means God has founded. In other words, we are built on the foundation God has created. What a marvelous place to do battle!
17 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; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
How do we stand? What is the plan given by God in our difficulties?
Set Yourselves: First, see to it that you are in the right place. Make sure that you have repented of your sin and that you are doing what you know to do. Put yourself under the authority of the Bible and the Holy Spirit.
Stand Still: Not a square inch of our lives or our blessings should be surrendered to the enemy. Don’t run, don’t hide, stand on what God has promised. God had given the land to the Isrealites, it wasn’t to be surrendered to the opposition. God has given us the title of sons and daughters, we are more than conquerors in Christ, we already have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. We are part of the body of Christ, and we have authority to resist the devil when we submit ourselves to God.
See the Salvation: Open your eyes and your heart and see what God is doing all around you. We mistakenly listen to the voices around us that tell us that there is no hope and that evil is winning. God is in control. He is working in our world today to rescue the lost and to take as many to Heaven as will surrender to Him. You can see His power, His wisdom, and His wonderful works all around if you’ll look for them.
Fear Not: You have a choice in the matter. You can choose to fear or you can choose to trust. God will not let you down, “all things work together for those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose.”
Do Not be Dismayed, the Lord is With You: We agonize over situations that God has already promised to take care of, and we speak doubt over things that the word of God has already spoken peace over. God is with us, He lives in us, the battle is not ours, it is His and He’s never lost one yet. The children of God are never alone.
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.
The only proper response to the protection, provision, and overwhelming love of God toward us is adoration and praise. We should bow down before the one who fights our battles. When Jehosophat, as the leader, humbled himself before God, the people followed his example.
19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
This band of skilled and dedicated worshippers, which had its beginnings in David’s reign, not only sang, but they sang loudly. Never be afraid of pouring out praise and letting everyone know where your allegiances lie. Many a battle was won by God himself in the Old Testament, while his people shouted the victory, unharmed.
20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 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.
It is impossible to show belief without obedience. It is impossible to fully obey what we don’t believe. What does God require of a New Testament believer? We must believe on the one “who He has sent.” The one thing you are asked to do, is the trust in the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. From that decision all the actions and choices we make originate. Believe in the Lord your God! Believe His prophets!
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!