September 9, 2012
See the Salvation of the LORD
2 Chronicles 20:20
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In response to a another question, today we see the LORD deliver the people of Judah from a great army ready to attack them. King Jehoshaphat had made some spiritual mistakes, but he also went out among the people of Judah and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers (2 Chronicles 19:1-4). King Jehoshaphat also appointed judges, and told them to judge with righteousness and impartiality, with the fear of the LORD (2 Chronicles 20:5-11). After instituting these spiritual reforms, the sons of Ammon, the sons of Moab, and some Meunites came to make war against Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-4). When faced with large armies, King Jehoshaphat called for the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 20:5-13). King Jehoshaphat declared that they were “powerless before the great multitude” (2 Chronicles 20:12). In the midst of the assembly, the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel, and he proclaimed that the people did not need to fight that battle.
You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD and your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.” Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.
2 Chronicles 20:17
You Need Not Fight. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, the LORD proclaimed a very simple spiritual principle: God fights the battles, when we first declare our powerlessness. King Jehoshaphat prepared the people to meet their enemies in three specific ways. First, long before the enemy appeared, King Jehoshaphat dealt with the idolatry in the kingdom and removed the idols (2 Chronicles 19:3). Second, long before the enemy appeared, King Jehoshaphat appointed judges to judge faithfully and wholeheartedly, without partiality, in the fear of the LORD (2 Chronicles 19:9). Third, when the enemy appeared, Jehoshaphat feared and fasted, and assembled the people and prayed with them for help from the LORD (2 Chronicles 20:3-4). Jehoshaphat did not just “find religion” when faced with an invading army, but he had been preparing the kingdom by turning the people to the LORD long before the enemy appeared. You will only be prepared to face the enemy once you have lived a consistent lifestyle of spiritual devotion to God. In all times of sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine, King Jehoshaphat planned and practiced that he would assemble the people (with their wives and their children (2 Chronicles 20:13), and stand before the LORD, and cry to the LORD for help. King Jehoshaphat had faith that the LORD would hear and deliver His people (2 Chronicles 20:9).
Do Not Fear of Be Dismayed. in 2 Chronicles 20:17, the LORD described the King and the people of Judah as fearful and dismayed. The LORD demonstrated that He always knows about our fears and dismay. He also cares and provides ways for us to deal with them. The LORD intends to remove all of your fears and dismay today, and He does so by revealing Himself and His plans for your life. When you trust the LORD to help you, He will take care of you and relieve your fears.
The LORD Is with You. In 2 Chronicles 20:17, the LORD reminded the people of Judah that the LORD Himself is with them. When we face overwhelming enemies that strike fear and dismay into our hearts, at that moment we must listen to the LORD reminding us that the LORD Himself will always be with us. This enemy facing us never came by surprise upon the LORD. The enemy never has more power, wisdom or counsel greater than the LORD (Proverbs 21:30-31).
Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites, and the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
2 Chronicles 20:18-19
Judah Worships and Praises the Lord God of Israel. In 2 Chronicles 20:18-19, King Jehoshaphat bowed and worshipped, and the people fell down too before the LORD. You see from their response that they believed that the LORD would do as He said, and He would fight for them. Notice too that the Levites, particularly the sons of the Kohathites and Korahites, praised God with a very loud voice. When God reveals His plans, especially when He plans to help us, we should bow and worship and praise His name.
They rose early in morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.’
2 Chronicles 20:20
Put Your Trust in the LORD. In 2 Chronicles 20:20, the day after the LORD spoke to the people of Israel and promised He would fight for them, the people went out into the wilderness to witness the power of God. They did not go out to fight a battle, but to witness God fight the battle. King Jehoshaphat encouraged the people to put their trust in the LORD your God. Notice here that trust in the LORD will overpower any enemy, any time. Notice too that the people must trust His prophets and succeed. Today, we can read those same prophets and the authors of the New Testament. If we intend to live without fear and dismay, and face our enemies, then we stand in faith before God and trust Him alone to fight our battles and win those battles by His strength and power alone.
When had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.’
2 Chronicles 20:21
Singers First. In 2 Chronicles 20:21, King Jehoshaphat put faith into practice by placing the singers before the people in holy attire. Notice that the army did not go before the people, but the singers went first. Clearly, King Jehoshaphat believed the LORD, so that the singers would be safe because they would not be killed by the enemy. In our lives, we should always proceed with praise and worship and trust God by giving thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
2 Chronicles 20:22
They Were Routed. In 2 Chronicles 20:22, we see that the LORD set ambushes against the enemies. When God fights for you, the enemies of God fall every time. In fact, the enemies of God were absolutely routed. We should learn great lessons from this passage. When we trust God and His promises, He will always keep them and we will stand in faith and watch the LORD rout our enemies while we praise and worship Him.
So we learn more about the LORD routing our enemies.
● You do not need to fight your own battles, because, on your own, you fall powerless before your enemies.
● When confronted by your enemies, gather with believers, pray before the LORD, and count upon Him to keep His promises and deliver you from your enemies.
● Face your enemies with praise and worship first, because you can always count upon the LORD to help you.
Application for Today
As I walk through life today, I want to pray to the LORD for His help. I know I am powerless on my own, but I will not live in fear and dismay today because of my enemies. I will trust the LORD to rout my enemies, and I will praise and worship Him before He even acts to help me. I can trust the LORD to help me every day, especially today. Will you trust the LORD to fight your battles today?