2 Chronicles 20:1–37
1It 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. 2Then 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). 3And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 5Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6and 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? 7Are 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? 8And 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.’ 10And 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—11here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12O 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.” 13Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.
14Then 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. 15And 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 16Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17You 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.” 18And 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. 19Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high. 20So 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.” 21And 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.” 22Now 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. 23For 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. 24So 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. 25When 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. 26And 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. 27Then 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. 28So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. 29And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around. 31So Jehoshaphat was king over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
32And he walked in the way of his father Asa, and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. 33Nevertheless the high places were not taken away, for as yet the people had not directed their hearts to the God of their fathers. 34Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.
35After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. 36And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. 37But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.” Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
Pastor Chris Commentary
King Jehoshaphat learned much from his time of disobedience to God. Here we see the nations around Judah coming to make war against Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah. This time the King did what was right in God’s eyes. First thing he did was inquire of the Lord what he should do.
“And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”
Jehoshaphat fasted and prayed with all the people and reminded God of His great acts of kindness and promises to His people. He told God that these godless nations were coming to take the land that He had given to Israel away from them. He asks God to judge the nations and rests in the fact that God is the deliverer of Israel.
When we hear bad news or when we find ourselves in difficult situations that seem to be too much for us to handle, what is our first reaction. When someone hurts you, is your first reaction to take vengeance and retaliate against that person to get justice by your own hand? At work you may have been striving for a promotion and someone else gets it instead of you. What do you do? Slander your boss and say bad things about the one who got the promotion? This shows that you do not trust God to control your life. God knows what you need and what you want. He is not surprised when you are attacked or rejected for a promotion. He is the one who allowed these things to happen to you. Ask yourself, were you seeking the Lord daily concerning your life and your fears, hopes, dreams, job, family, etc…? If not, how do you know if God wanted you to be in the situation where you got hurt or lost a promotion? Like Jehoshaphat, you were trusting in your own strength to control your own destiny. We must be serious about seeking God daily for His guidance so His will can be accomplished in us first of all, then through us to accomplish His mission on earth before Jesus returns.
Jehoshaphat does the right thing. He humbles himself before God and asks God to handle the problem. This is the best course of action for every situation. If God does not tell us what to do when we ask we should stand still before Him and do nothing until He himself acts on our behalf or He speaks directly to us with instruction on how to proceed. This is very hard for us humans, because we are so proud and disobedient most of the time. If we seek God and wait for Him we will never be disappointed.
Then God speaks through Jahaziel son of Zachariah saying, “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. Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 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.”
Jehosaphat had learned his lesson well. He bowed himself down to the ground in submission and worship of the Lord who was speaking through Jahaziel. And guess what happened? All the people did just as the King did. They followed his Godly example.
The next morning they all went out to where God had told them to go and the King exhorted the people saying, “Believe in the Lord and He will establish you.” He was confident and appointed singers and worshipers to go ahead of the army into the area of battle. They sang and shouted, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” As they were singing and praising God, the Lord himself set ambushes against the advancing armies who were coming against Judah. These ambushes came from the same people who were part of the attacking armies. The enemy was so confused that they attacked each other and killed each other until no men were left.
When the people of Judah arrived at the place of battle the entire enemy army was destroyed. Judah did not have to fight at all. In fact, Judah went down and took a great amount of riches from the armies that had died there that day. So large was the amount of riches that they could not carry it all back to their homes. It took them three days to recover all the riches that were left at the site of battle. So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. And the fear of God came upon all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
Jehosaphat was King over Judah for 25 years and did what was right in the sight of the Lord except, he did not remove the places of demon worship that were known as the high places from the land because the people’s hearts were still opposing God.
While we are waiting for God to move on our behalf, or to take care of our problems we shouldn’t be preoccupied with how He will do it for us. We should just thank Him and worship Him and adore Him with singing and praise. We should celebrate as if the problem has already been taken care of, because it has. How God works it all out is His business not ours. He told the people of Judah to go out with singing and praise to the place of battle but do not raise your weapons to fight. They went out rejoicing and found all their enemies had been defeated before they even arrived on the scene.
If someone hurts you physically or emotionally. Seek God. Give it to Him. Let Him comfort you. Let Him tell you what to do or not do. Trust Him to bring justice into the life of the offender. Even if it hurts you more, force yourself to rejoice with thanksgiving and praise for God’s sure intervention. He will bring justice for you and comfort to you. If you lose a promotion or someone cheats you. Seek God. Give it to Him. Let Him comfort you. Let Him instruct you. Trust Him to give you the promotion you deserve or the recompense for your loss. The battle is His because He lives in you and you are His prize possession.
At the end of Jehoshaphat’s life he went astray again and allied himself with wicked king Ahaziah of Israel. They made an agreement to build ships for trading with Tarshish (British Isles). But this did not come to pass. All the ships they built were destroyed before they could go to sea with them.
This is so sad isn’t it? Jehosaphat forgets God at the end of his life. Let us not forget the Lord our God. We can do many things in our own strength thinking we are doing this or that for God. In reality, we are just building our own kingdom on earth and it will not last. The Word of God says, For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15