Second Chronicles Chapter 20’s account of King Jehoshaphat’s responses to learning two and a half armies were on their way to decimate Judah is as a superb example of a leader of God’s people responding completely in accordance with the Spirit of God when suffering severe duress, ultimately brought by the Lord Himself to sanctify His people. We are wise to study this account, meditate on it, and thank God that He will likewise enable us, just as He did this king, to pause amidst the duress, humble ourselves before Him in awe, recall His great acts of deliverance, call out, wait, listen, and respond in accordance with the Spirit with shouts of praise.
The king’s first response was a resolve to inquire of the Lord and call a fast (self-denial) for all of Judah. With all his people assembled before the Lord at the temple, the king began his prayer by proclaiming the Lord is God, He is omnipotent! He recalled the Lord’s faithfulness to His people, and affirmed that He would hear them in their distress and deliver them, despite the vast size of the combined armies. In humility before his entire kingdom, the king readily cried out to the Lord, “…we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” (v.12b). May the Lord impress the blessedness of humility upon our hearts! Because their leader led them to do so, the entire assembly then waited upon the Lord together. Naturally, God then spoke through His prophet amidst them, assuring their hearts and minds the battle is not yours, but God’s…. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you… Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you. (vv. 15, 17).
The next morning, King Jehoshaphat appointed men to lead Judah’s army as they marched toward the enemy praising the Lord for the splendor of His holiness (v.21) – now that’s trampling the great lion and the serpent (Psalm 91:13)! As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir and they annihilated one another! When the men of Judah came… and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder… There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the Lord. (vv 22-26). Now, behold and apprehend the ending of the account: And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. (v. 30).
Praising God for the splendor of His holiness in trials with you, your sister deanna
written March 28, 2015