Heed God’s Word God’s Way (Part 2)

Photo by Fachy Marín on Unsplash

Turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Chronicles 19.

Last week we discussed the need for Godly leadership in a nation. This week Amy Coney Barrett was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States amid the howls and cries of foul from those on the opposing political party. Frankly, I praise God for her appointment. The Bible says:

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people

I am not surprised that darkness is upset that a Christian woman was put on the Supreme Court. I just praise God that it happened. Pray for Justice Barrett, and all of our Supreme Court. We need our nation to turn back from the evil that it has normalized these last 50 or so years!

To summarize what we learned last week, we talked about the good King of Southern Israel (Judah) Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat (whose name means “The Lord is Judge”) honored God. The Bible says that

{Jehoshaphat} walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto {the false gods of the Canaanites}” (2 Chronicles 17:3).

Because “his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 17:6), the Lord brought stability and good economy to his nation. There was peace all around Judah – none dared attack them, because “the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah” (2 Chronicles 17:10). The Bible says:

1 Samuel 2:30 … them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

and again, Psalm 147:11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Then Jehoshaphat made a foolish decision. He decided to join Judah with Northern Israel (called merely Israel), to band together with King Ahab (2 Chronicles 18:1). Ahab of Israel was a very wicked king. He was the great, great, great, great, great grandson of Jeroboam, the man who led the ten northern tribes in revolt against King Rehoboam, Solomon’s son.

Jehoshaphat agreed to go with Ahab and make war against Ramoth-gilead, even though God’s prophet Micaiah warned them not to do so (see 1 Kings 22:17).

Because of Jehoshaphat’s foolishness, he nearly died that day. But for the grace of God he would have died. Ahab did die that day, just as the Prophet decreed. The Bible says:

1 Kings 22:37-38 {King Ahab} died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armor; according unto the word of the Lord which he spake.

God’s people are to love and be kind to all. But God’s people, His children by faith in Christ, are not to intimately bind ourselves together with unbelievers. God tells us:

2 Corinthians 6:16-18 what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Let’s continue where we were last week.

Jehoshaphat Returned Home To God

2 Chronicles 19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.

Let’s start with Jehoshaphat the king of Judah RETURNED. The word rendered “RETURNED” is the Qal Imperfect of שׁוּב shûwb, (pronounced shoob). The word can be used in a physical sense, Jehoshaphat physically returned to his house. It can also be used in the spiritual sense, meaning Jehoshaphat repented and returned to where he belonged. The same word is used in verse 4,

2 Chronicles 19:4 … Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back {שׁוּב shûwb} unto the Lord God of their fathers.

As a believer in God, Jehoshaphat had no business binding himself with a lost person like Ahab.

When Jehoshaphat returned back to his home he was met by Jehu the son of Hanani. Jehu’s father Hanani chastised good King Asa of Judah, Jehoshaphats father, for doing the same thing that Jehoshaphat did. Jehoshaphat made an alliance with apostate Northern Israel. Asa, his father, made an alliance with Syria. Jehu asks Jehoshaphat:

2 Chronicles 19:2 Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee
from before the Lord.

What Jehu asks Jehoshaphat is very applicable to our world today. I know many Christians and many Christian Churches that consider themselves Social Justice Warriors. They have banded themselves to organizations and people who are lost and without Christ. I do believe in justice – BIBLICAL justice. To do the right that God has said is right in His Word. Beloved, if you are a proud, card carrying SJW (Social Justice Warrior), I suspect Jehu’s words to Jehoshaphat also apply to YOU. Jehu {whose name means, “Himself Who Exists”} asks us:

  1. Why did you help the wicked? The saved believer is not to pitch in with the unbeliever, endorsing their godless activities. We are to tell them about faith in Christ Jesus. We are to bless them that curse us, and do good to them that despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44). Yes, we should feed the poor, and uplift the downtrodden. But we are not to be part and parcel of their godless antics. King Solomon wrote:

Proverbs 1:10-11, 15 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us … 15 my son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

You have all heard, I am sure, of the baker and the florist that were persecuted and prosecuted for not providing their services to support same sex marriage ceremonies. The baker, Jack Phillips, had to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court. The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed impermissible hostility toward religion when it declared Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.

The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in the city of Richland (200 miles southeast of Seattle), was ordered by the state of Washington to provide floral arrangements for same-sex marriages, just as she does for traditional marriages. The Supreme Court threw out the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling, and sent the case back to the lower courts.

I have heard Christian pastors say that Phillips and Stutzman perhaps should have provided to the gay marriages, just as they provide to traditional marriages.

Myself, I think we as Christians need to be very careful and prayerful about doing this. If you begin to compromise your Bible based convictions in order to “reach others”, you may find yourself in the same mess Jehoshaphat found himself in. The Apostle warns us in:

Ephesians 5:6-12 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

You will make others mad at you when you walk with Christ. Beloved, it is better for man to be mad at you, rather than your Heavenly Father be angered! Live your life for Jesus! Jehu also asked:

  1. Why do you love those who hate the Lord? I believe that the Christian should show love to everyone. But King Ahab hated God with a passion. He stood against Elijah, and was instrumental in emotionally destroying that dear saint. Ahab not only condoned idolatry, but spent immense funds to build temples to false gods. Ahab made Baal worship the state religion of Northern Israel. The handwriting was on the wall for Ahab and Northern Israel. You can only stand against God when you stand with the God haters! The Psalmist David writes:

Psalm 139:21-22 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

The word means “loathe,” so that we may read the text, “Do not I loathe those that rise up against thee?” … This is how the word is translated, for example, in Ezekiel 20:43: “and ye shall loathe yourselves in your sight for all your evils that ye have committed.” To loathe someone is to regard him as disgusting and to abhor him. …

Is this right? Is this Christian?” you ask. We must let the Psalmist himself answer the question. The Psalmist shows that, in taking this attitude of hatred, he is perfectly confident that he is right with God, that he is pleasing to God. He is criticized today for being unspiritual here. But he breathes the confidence that his spiritual condition is good. For the confession that he hates some men appears in a question that he asks of the Lord: “Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee?” He asks this question of the Lord as a man who is sure that Lord will find this praiseworthy in him. In the very next breath, he invites the Lord to search him, whether there be any evil way in him. He is supremely confident that in hating the wicked he has the full approval of the Lord. …

Beyond all doubt, Scripture here teaches that hatred of the wicked by the child of God is part of his holy life in the Spirit and not some gross iniquity. Therefore, one who cannot present himself before the Lord as hating those who hate God is in the wrong and displeases God. He has a serious defect in his spiritual life. The trouble is that so many fail to acknowledge that God hates some men. Hatred of another is condemned as such, because men believe that God loves all men and hates no man. But hatred as such cannot be condemned as evil, for God hates—God hates some men. Romans 9:13 teaches that God hated Esau. Psalm 5:5 teaches that God hates “all workers of iniquity.” God’s hatred of some men is clearly brought out in the verses that precede our text. Verse 19 says, “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God.” This is the most extreme expression of hatred: God will kill them, not only temporally but also eternally. God loathes them and wills their destruction. … These are persons who hate God. They loathe God and will God’s destruction. As much as in them lies, they try to accomplish His destruction also. They rise up against God, according to the text, that is, they go to war against Him as enemies. How do they do this? The preceding verse shows: “For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.” They blaspheme God, curse and swear, oppose His truth and worship. Especially do they despise and attack His Christ and the gospel of Christ. The text uses the covenant name of God, Jehovah. These men hate Jehovah as He is revealed in Jesus. They rise up against God by violence against their neighbors. Not only do they break the first table of the law but they also break the second table. Verse 19 calls them “bloody men.” They are violent rebels against the authority of their parents, of the state and of the employer. They are cruel deserters of wives and children. They are thieves and robbers. They are slanderers and backbiters—they have bloody tongues. In short, they are men, women and children who do not believe or obey the law. They are the wicked, the impenitent wicked.”

  1. Why bring Yahweh’s wrath on yourself and on Judah? When you bind yourself to someone who stands in opposition to God, you paint a target on your back. We are to keep idolaters like Ahab at arm’s length, we are not to embrace them or join with them. God says of those who hate Him:

Deuteronomy 7:9-10 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 10 and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

Jehoshaphat was nearly killed on the battlefield. He foolishly agreed to wear Ahab’s clothing, and the enemy chased him to kill him, believing Jehoshaphat to be Ahab. But God in His grace protected Jehoshaphat. Jehu tells the now wiser King:

2 Chronicles 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.

The King took away the groves, that is, he actively destroyed placed where idolatry was performed. Jehoshaphat also prepared his heart to seek God. He repented.

Repenting, Jehoshaphat Now Seeks To Please
The Lord And Not Man

2 Chronicles 19:4-6 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers.

5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 6 and 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. 7 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.

Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but spent much of his time traveling throughout his kingdom, telling his people to repent and return to the God of Scripture. He appointed judges and reminded them that ye judge not for man, but for the Lord. The judges were not to show respect of persons, that is, they were to treat every case that came before their courts impartially, and without favoritism. Like Moses, Jehoshaphat told these judges:

Deuteronomy 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s …

Jehoshaphat warned the judges to avoid the taking of bribes.

2 Chronicles 19:8-10 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem. 9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. 10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the Lord, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass. 11 And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good.

If the judges are faithful to honor God and to make righteous judgments, they would themselves avoid the wrath of God. Furthermore, God promised to be with and protect those who honors Him.

A Nation That Draws Near To God In Peace Time,
Will Be Protected By God In War

2 Chronicles 20:1-2 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. 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 Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi.

Moab and Ammon, along with others came against Judah to overthrow the nation. The Ammonites were the descendants of Ben-ammi, who was the son of Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and Lot’s younger daughter (Genesis 19:38). The Moabites descended from Moab, the son of Lot and his older daughter (Genesis 19:37). These nations were, in fact, cousins to the Jews. Banded together, they became an unconquerable foe. At least, Jehoshaphat and Judah could not handle them! What does Jehoshaphat do? Does he panic? Does he run away? No. Now Jehoshaphat is afraid – but he doesn’t panic. He heeds the word of Psalmist to Yahweh:

Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

The Christian should never slip into hopelessness. When all is against us, let us put our eyes on the God Who saved us, and saves us still!

2 Chronicles 20:3-4 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

Jehoshaphat made himself focus on God. He moved his nation to focus on God. Let’s take a look at His prayer:

2 Chronicles 20:6-12 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? 7 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? 8 And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, 9 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. 10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not; 11 behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 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.

What a beautiful prayer! How did God respond to Jehoshaphat and Judah? He told them:

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. 16 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. 17 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.

God promised to fight the battle for His people. Did He? Absolutely! Read the rest of the chapter. The Bible says that God caused the enemy to fight among themselves, so much so that they utterly destroyed themselves before Jehoshaphat and Judah took the battlefield. Judah named the place where their enemies were defeated the valley of Berachah (vs 26), or the valley of blessings. When we follow the Lord our God, He promises to bless us and protect us from our enemies. Beloved, are you following Him? Are you serving the Lord our God? Have you given your lives to Him? If not, I beg you, turn and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior today. Begin to read His Word, and support His Kingdom on this earth. Do not miss the blessings of this life – the blessings of a life with our Heavenly Father.

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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