Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 20:20-37. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 20:20 (NIV) 20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
On verse 20: As Jehoshaphat’s men set out for the Desert of Tekoa to face their attackers early in the morning, Jehoshaphat gives his men a word of encouragement. He encourages them to have faith in the Lord and in His prophets as their key to success. What can we learn from this?
One of the best things you can do at the beginning of each morning as you set out for the day is to feed on the encouragement of God’s Word. Even if you normally have your GAME time later in the day, there is great value in getting some of God’s Word – even a verse – into your mind to.
Your success goes hand in hand with how well you follow and trust God and your God-given leaders.
2 Chronicles 20:21 (NIV) 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to theLORD, for his love endures forever.”
On verses 21-23: Guess who Jehoshaphat gets to lead the charge as his army gets ready to face their enemy? Not soldiers but singers! Men armed not with swords or bows but with songs of praise. What can we learn from this? Worship is a form of warfare. Worship is your weapon against the enemy. When we work, we work, but when we pray and worship, God works. In this case, as the people begin to worship and praise, the Lord turns Judah’s attackers against one another, such that they end up destroying and immobilizing one another. As God promised, the army of Judah defeats their attackers without even having to fight.
2 Chronicles 20:24-27 (NIV) 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value–more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day.
On verses 24-28: After discovering a great amount of plunder that their attackers left behind, Jehoshaphat’s men assemble in the Valley of Beracah to give God praise. “Valley of Beracah” (v26) literally means “valley of praise”. Jehoshaphat then leads his people in continuing to give God worship in the temple (v28).
What can we learn from this? Notice that Jehoshaphat does not just lead his people to worship the Lord before the victory but after as well. Don’t just draw close to God and praise Him when you’re in need. When God answers your cry, delivers you or gives you victory, be sure to celebrate before the Lord and give Him the praise that He is due (e.g. Luke 17:11-18).
2 Chronicles 20:29-30 (NIV) 29 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.
On verses 29-30: God turns an undesirable situation – an attack by foreigners on Judah – into an opportunity for His glory to be shown, for more people to fear His name, and for God’s people to experience even more of His peace. Whenever you’re going through difficult circumstances, remember that God is working and proclaim that God will turn this difficult situation into a story for His glory, that ultimately God’s name will be lifted up and you will experience blessing and peace that you otherwise would not have experienced.
2 Chronicles 20:32, 37 (NIV) 32 He walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD… 37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.
On verses 31-37: Of all the kings of Judah, Jehoshaphat stands out as one of the most God fearing and faithful. However, it seems that an ongoing weakness of Jehoshaphat was creating alliances with people who do not fear God – first Ahab in chapter 18, and then Ahaziah in verse 35-37 of chapter 20. Because of these unwise and ungodly alliances, Jehoshaphat experienced a lot of unnecessary trouble, stress and loss (e.g. v37). What can we learn from this? No matter how God-fearing you are, God will not necessarily stop you from making foolish relationship choices. He allows us to make our own choices regarding relationships and to face the consequences that arise from those choices. If you are unwise in whom you partner with, you will inevitably suffer unnecessary trouble, stress and loss. Don’t make life more difficult for yourself than it already is: be wise in whom you partner with.
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me worship as a weapon to fight the enemy. Praise You for all the ways You have been good to me. Please give me wisdom to live in a way that is pleasing to You today. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!