Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aura of II Chronicles 20

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Tonight I am awestruck with the 20th chapter of II Chronicles.

The Word speaks for itself. Read these verses with me.

v 1 After this, the Moabites, Ammonites, and with them the Meunites came against Jehoshaphat to battle.

V 2 It was told Jehoshaphat, A great multitude has come against you from beyond the Dead Sea, from Edom (who continued to oppose God and His people, even up to the time of Jesus when Herod (a descendant of Edom) tried to have him killed), and behold they are in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi.

v 3 Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself determinedly, as his vital need to see the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah.

v 4 And Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord (yearning for Him with all their desire).

v 5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the house of the Lord before the new court.

v 6 And 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? In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You.

v 7 Did not You, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend?

v 8 They dwelt in it and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your Name, saying.

v 9 If evil comes upon us, the sword of judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You--for Your Name and the symbol of Your presence is in this house--and cry to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.

v 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, whom You would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they turned from and did not destroy--

v 11 Behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.

v 12 O our God, will You not exercise judgment upon them For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, BUT OUR EYES ARE UPON YOU. YES!!!

V 13 And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their children and their wives.

Can you imagine what it would do to the heart of God if a great group of His children ALL STOOD BEFORE HIM with our children and their children, earnestly seeking Him with all of our eyes on him, declaring that we do not know what to do????

v 14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel 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.

v 15 He said, Hearken, all Judah, you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat, The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God's.

Who is the great multitude in our lives? Who are the great giants? Who is threatening to steal our joy? God says not to fear them. Don't. Fear. Them. There is no reason to fear them. God says so.

Why? Because the battle is not ours; the battle is the Lord's.

v 16 Tomorrow go down to them. Behold, they will come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them t the end of the ravine before the Wilderness of Jeruel.

So get this next verse. Go down and do what?

v 17 You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, an see the deliverance of the Lord Who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them; for the Lord is with you.

Now it had to have taken courage to go and confront them, to line up and gather together, to simply show up--yes, that took courage. But to stand there and wait for the onslaught--now that, is downright nonsensical, humanly speaking.

But that is exactly what they were told to do. Show up. Be still. Don't get excited. Put all your trust in God. Go to the very edge of the precipice and calmly wait for God to rescue you!

I LOVE Jehoshaphat's response.

v 18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, an all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping Him.

Oh, God, forgive me for all the times you have brought me to a pinnacle of faith, and I diluted my obedience with doubt? How many times have I failed to worship you, to be quiet, to bow down to the ground in total and sweet surrender? Forgive me, Lord.

v 19 And some Levites of the Kohathites and Korahites stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

v 20 And 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 and remain steadfast to His prophets and you shall propser. BELIEVE, just believe.

v 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their hold priestly garments as they went out before the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!

Now Jehoshaphat is bringing out the big guns--PRAISE!

Look what happens next:

v 22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammom, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were self-slaughtered. Self-slaughtered!!!

v 23 For suspecting betrayal the men of Ammon and Moab rose against those of Mount Seir, utterly destroyed them. And when they had made an end of the men of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.


v 24 And when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked at the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none had escaped!

. . . v 29 "And the fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.

v 30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest round about."

How incredible that God's people got caught up with Him, and God got caught up with their praise of Him.

Remarkable that Jehoshaphat's realm was quiet.

Remarkable that the enemies turned on each other instead of Jehoshaphat and God's people.

Remarkable that the battle was won.

Remarkable the power of humility and the turning of the eyes on God.

Remarkable the investment of praise and its return.