I asked you all yesterday to commit to prayer. To start your day with prayer, and with reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. This morning as I met with God in prayer I asked Him what message I should bring tonight. The Bible tells us that …
James 1:5-6 (NKJV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith …
God wants us to ask – to not worry but to seek His Face. As I prayed and went to God’s Word the Lord led me to 2 Chronicles 20. So if you will, turn with me to 2 Chronicles 20, and we will begin by reading the first three verses of this text:
2 Chronicles 20:1-3 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.  Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.  And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
When I was a young boy I was taught the “Lord’s Prayer” by my mother and grandmother. In fact, when we went to Church we recited the “Lord’s Prayer” every Sunday. As a young and unsaved boy I didn’t understand the Lord’s Prayer, but a bored child sitting on a pew not far from Momma’s Pinch paid attention. In fact, I memorized the Lord’s Prayer out of boredom. I didn’t know the Lord then, but what I learned as a child has blessed me as an adult.
How many of you know the “Lord’s Prayer”? Jesus’ disciples often saw the Lord Jesus go off by Himself to pray. They heard Jesus pray. They heard the familiarity that Jesus had with the God Above. So one day the disciples came to Jesus and said “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). Jesus gave a model prayer to those who followed Him. If you know it say it with me …
Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Before I ever knew God as my Creator, my Savior, and my Lord I was taught to pray. I was taught to pray as a young child in Church and at home. We prayed over our meals. We prayed before going to bed. We prayed (at least I did) before hard things and during hard things. We prayed.
Yet sadly in America today we do not pray as we ought. We are technologically rich and spiritually impoverished. Medical technology can remove cancers and transplant organs. We get our answers from television and internet.
1 God Is Still On The Throne.
Tonight the Lord wants us to look at the life of a man who had no high tech, no television, no surgical centers nor space age medicine. This man was named Jehoshaphat.
Hebrew names often have meaning, and “Jehoshaphat” means “the LORD is the Judge”. Jehoshaphat’s daddy Asa was King of Judah for 41 years. When he passed away Jehoshaphat became King. The Bible tells us that Jehoshaphat …
2 Chronicles 20:32 …. walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the LORD.
Jehoshaphat was not perfect. Our text tonight begins with these words:
2 Chronicles 20:1-3 It came to pass after this also …
What happened before 2 Chronicles 20? King Jehoshaphat of Judah married the King of Israel’s daughter Athaliah. This joined the two families together. One day King Ahab – Jehoshaphat’s Father-In-Law – came to Jehoshaphat and asked him to join with him in declaring war against the King of Syria at Ramothgilead. As soon as Ahab asked him this Jehoshaphat replied:
2 Chronicles 18:4 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.
“I want to know what God’s Word has to say about it”. God speaks to His people. He sends His written Word. He sends His Messengers, His Prophets, His Preachers, His Teachers. Jesus said:
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Oh how God loves His People, the Sheep of His Pasture. He says unto us:
Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
God loves His people, and loves to deliver His people. Jehoshaphat knew that the best place to be is under the Voice of the Lord Who made us, the tender Voice of Him Who called us out of darkness. When God sent a Prophet to Jehoshaphat and Ahab that Prophet warned them not to attack Syria. The Prophet said:
2 Chronicles 18:16 …. I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.
God was not in it. He was not in the attack, and if Ahab went forward he would be killed in battle and Israel left without a King. Ahab did not believe the Word of God. He is like so many that I have preached to and counseled. They HEAR the Word but DISBELIEVE the word. Jesus said that we are to both HEAR and DO His Word. Ahab did not believe, and went to battle, and died. Jehoshaphat went with his father-in-law and almost died himself. The Bible says:
2 Chronicles 18:31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.
Ahab died, but God saved Jehoshaphat because Jehoshaphat relied on the Lord. He cried out, and the LORD – the Great I AM – helped him. Oh what a wonderful treat it is to be a Child of God, to know that – even if I foolishly err, I can cry out and God will hear and deliver!
Isaiah 12:2-6 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.  Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
Jehoshaphat loved the Lord! and the Lord loved Jehoshaphat! In 2 Chronicles 19 God rebuked Jehoshaphat for compromising and going with his father-in-law Ahab. And in chapter 19 Jehoshaphat sought the Lord with all his heart. Jehoshaphat set up rulers in his kingdom and
2 Chronicles 19:6-7 … said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.  Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.
Honorable people were made leaders. When a leader – whether President, Politician, or Preacher is dishonorable the people will follow suit. Leaders were established who loved God and respected His Word.
2 Trouble Strikes Even The Godly, But God Is Still On The Throne. Everyone has trials in this life. Every person is either in a trial, heading toward a trial, or coming out of a trial. If you live and breath you will be tried. Jehoshaphat was serving the Lord, doing what he could. And then we read:
2 Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
When it rains it pours is not only a motto for Morton Salt – it is a truth of life. The Children of Moab and the Children of Ammon were the children of Abraham’s Nephew Lot, children born of incest. They were kissing cousins to the Jews. Though family, they were often the enemies of Israel, and sought to destroy the people of God. The Moabites and Ammonites got together with other enemies of Judah probably because the King of Israel had just died. The Devil will look for a toehold where ever he can get it. When it was Judah and Israel united by marriage this evil confederacy did nothing. But now Judah looked ripe for the picking.
2 Chronicles 20:2 THEN there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.
Have you ever noticed when trouble comes the Devil will send his own “preachers” to make it a little worst? The Ammonites, Moabites, and others are coming THEN there came some that told Jehoshaphat “there comes a multitude against THEE”. Not against Judah. Against THEE. The doctor diagnoses cancer, and a friend says “I hope it’s not the rapid growth kind … I had a friend who died quickly from that!” You get a mole on your neck – had one there all my life. My barber said “You better get that looked at. I know someone who had one just like it – but now they’re dead!”. God save us from the well meaning discouragers. The Bible says:
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”
What happened when Jehoshaphat heard these things? The Bible tells us that:
2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared…
Fear is natural. If you are a human, then you have (if you are normal) been afraid. Fear protects us. One time when I was on mission in Belize someone found a tiny snake and started playing with it, poking it with a stick. The snake couldn’t have been 6 inches long. One of the natives in our barracks jumped up, ran over, and stomped the snake to death. He then told the foolish men playing with it that this is the “Banded Krait”, a highly venomous snake that can spring several body lengths forward if angered. God gave us the ability to fear to preserve us from harm. But fear must not control us. Jehoshaphat feared, but was not controlled by that fear. The Bible says:
2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
Jehoshaphat feared, but he turned His eyes to the Lord. He “SET HIMSELF to seek the LORD”. He took himself in hand. What does the Bible tell us about fear? When afraid the Psalmist said:
Psalms 121:1-2 … I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
and our Lord Jesus said:
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Matthew 6:25-27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
When confronted by the impossible do not listen to the discouragers but seek God’s Face in prayer. God is able to overcome anything that you might face. Jehoshaphat was in an impossible situation so he sought the Lord. In fact, he asked that others seek the Lord with him. He proclaimed a fast, because it was not just Jehoshaphat that was in trouble but the entire nation. When God’s people come together and pray then God will act on our behalf. We live in an age where “Prayer Meeting” is no more than putting another name on a list. We are to pray. We are to pray together. Jehoshaphat was not ashamed to pray. The Bible says:
2 Chronicles 20:5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
a Jehoshaphat STOOD Up. He was not ashamed. He went forward. He went to the altar. He took his burden to God.
b Jehoshaphat PRAYED. The Lord’s taught us to pray:
Our Father Who Art In Heaven, HALLOWED Be Thy Name
2 Chronicles 20:6 …. O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth As It Is In Heaven.
2 Chronicles 20:7-9 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?  And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying,  If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
Protect us, O God. Take our needs and satisfy them. God, we rely upon You. YOU and YOU ALONE are our God. God, the Ammonites and Moabites are coming to destroy us. We have acted honorably toward them, but they seek to destroy us.
2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
“Our eyes are upon Thee, O Lord God”. We are not looking around for better options. We are seeking YOU. We are relying upon YOU and YOUR WORD. I was pleasantly surprised to see that your Memory Verse for this month is Romans 12:2
“Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God”
When God’s people turned from their own solutions and sought God’s design then the Lord answered. He brought through the Holy Spirit, saying to Jehoshaphat and Israel:
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 … Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.  Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
The God of the impossible will handle the impossible. Set yourselves. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. Trust God.
c Jehoshaphat Praised. So many people today say “I believe in God” or “I am a Christian” then leave Church and act just like they are Atheists. There is no such thing as an Atheist Christian or an Atheist Child of God. As soon as God answered their prayers Jehoshaphat and Judah gave the outward indication of faith.
2 Chronicles 20:18-19 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.  And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
The outward evidence of faith is praise unto God. Judah and Jehoshaphat did not praise God only AFTER the victory was won. Judah and Jehoshaphat praised God BEFORE the victory. God’s people humbled themselves before the Lord. The Bible tells us …
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
They trusted God. They rose early the next morning to do what God told them to do. And Jehoshaphat told Judah:
2 Chronicles 20:20 … Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
And as they went to where the Ammonites and Moabites were the Bible tells us that Jehoshaphat
2 Chronicles 20:21-22 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.  And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
As God’s people praised and worshiped the Lord the Lord cause the Ammonites and the Moabites and the inhabitants of Mount Seir to fight among themselves. When Judah “came toward the watchtower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude” and found all of their enemies defeated.
And not only were their enemies defeated, the Bible says:
2 Chronicles 20:25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
Our God is an awesome God. Trust Him. Seek Him. Believe in Him.
2 Chronicles 20:26-30 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.  Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.  And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD.  And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.  So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
The Valley that should been a curse was “Berachah”, the “Valley of Blessing”. Why? Because they sought the Lord. Will you seek the Lord? Will you lay your burden down before Him? Will you put the mountain before you in His care and trust Him, worshiping Him?
May God touch your hearts with His Word.