May we learn from king Jehoshaphat: The setting is found in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Today I heard an immensely powerful message at church. I would title the message “Breakthrough.” When the enemies of the LORD and of Israel were coming against God’s people to overtake the land in the reign of Jehoshaphat, this is how the king responded to that threat. First, he recognized and acknowledged his fear (this is a notable example of humility and honesty). Second, he sought the face of the LORD (excellent response!) and proclaimed a fast throughout the land (fasts consisted of humility, confession, repentance, and intense uninterrupted prayer). He assembled all the people to seek help from the LORD. Third, he went to the House of God (he approached the throne of grace!) then he REMINDED himself, the people, and the LORD, of His faithfulness throughout the ages! (He proclaimed God’s goodness). Fourth, he brought his problem before the LORD, along with the testimony of God’s promise to Israel (that they were HIS nation, and HIS name was at stake). Fifth, he admitted they were powerless apart from the LORD’S intervention … BUT that their “eyes were on HIM!” (Their, hope, faith, confidence, trust, stability, safety, and security were in ONE PERSON). Sixth, God sent a prophecy assuring them that HE had seen and heard Jehoshaphat’s and the nation’s faith in action. Therefore, this was His response: “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15) and “you will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm. Hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD… (v. 17). (So, do not fear, it’s in His hands. Stand firm and the LORD will fight your battle!) This reminds me a whole lot of Paul’s exhortation to “stand firm” while wearing the full armor of God in Ephesians 6. Seventh, Jehoshaphat encourages the faith of the nation to trust the Word of the LORD and “Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” Eighth, PAY ATTENTION HERE! Jehoshaphat orders the worshippers and singers in holy clothing to go in the FRONT of the army to sing praise declarations to the God of Israel singing, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Ninth, PAY ATTENTION AGAIN! And WHEN they began to sing and praise, the LORD thwarted all of Israel’s enemies, and they turned and fought against each other, destroying one another until none were left. Tenth, Israel goes out and plunders their enemies, “when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more.” (When the LORD our God fights our battles, when we allow Him to, He shows off His glory!)
Below is the context of the story. Please read it! I wrote this so that others, like me, would be encouraged today. I was encouraged and strengthened by this message so I’m passing it on to you. So, REMEMBER: Be humble, honest, seek the throne of grace, confess any known sin, proclaim the promises of God from your past and Israel’s past, wait on the Lord with confidence in His promises, stand firm, and WORSHIP GOD and watch Him respond!
“After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
5 And 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? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chron. 20:1-12)
“Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chron. 20:15-17)
“And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another. When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD” (2 Chron. 20:20-26).