Summary: What is "Worship"? How do we see worship lived out in the life of Jehoshaphat? How are we instructed to worship?

O worship the King - All glorious above

And gratefully sing - His wonderful love

Our Shield and Defender the Ancient of Days

Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise

I will worship with all of my heart

I will praise You with all of my strength

I will seek You all of my days - I will follow all of Your ways

Father we love You - we worship and adore You

Glorify Thy name in all the earth

Glorify Thy name - Glorify Thy name

Glorify Thy name in all the earth

What is worship? What is praise?

Today we'll be taking a look at 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

Give a brief overview of where this event takes place in history. (expound briefly on each time frame)

Abraham - Isaac - Jacob (Israel)

Joseph in Egypt - 400 years

Moses and the Exodus

40 years in the wilderness

Joshua leads Israel

Judges - Gideon, Samson, Deborah

The Kings over Israel - Saul, David, Solomon

The Kingdom divided - kings over Israel and Judah

In this passage we read about Jehoshaphat, king of Judah

Ahab was the king of Israel - the northern kingdom

Before the exiles

2 Chronicles 20:1-30

“After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

“Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar’

“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek Him.

“Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said:

“LORD, the God of our ancestors, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.

“Our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for Your Name, saying,

“If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in Your presence before this temple that bears Your Name and will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and save us.

“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.

“See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession You gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.

“‘We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.

“Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel … as he stood in the assembly. He said: ‘Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem!

“This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not Yours, but God’s.’

“Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz and you will not have to fight this battle.

“Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.”

“Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld.

“‘Have faith in His prophets and you will be successful.’ After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the LORD, for His love endures forever.”

“As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

“The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

“When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.

“So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value - more than they could take away.

“There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the LORD.

“Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

“They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lyres and trumpets.

“The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”

What an awesome story! What a great deliverance!

Our hymnal is called “Sing to the LORD”. A previous version was called, “Praise and Worship”.

We tend to think of praise and worship as something we do at the beginning of our Sunday morning gathering.

Praise and worship is much more than just singing and feeling warm and fuzzy about Jesus! It’s more than closing your eyes and raising your hands. It’s more than running up and down the aisles waving handkerchiefs and shouting “Glory to God”. Although true praise and worship might very well result in these feelings and actions and more.

But what is worship, really???

Let’s take a look at King Jehoshaphat’s life and this story in particular.

Jehoshaphat was a good king 2 Chronicles 17: 3a, 6a

“The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him.” “His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD.”

When we read the accounts of the life of Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles we do see where there were a couple of times when the prophet of God had to speak to him, as is true of all of us, but through and through, “His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD.”

(For each of the following bullet points expound as the Lord gives you the words)

When Jehoshaphat heard that a vast, unconquerable army was coming against him he did not do the human things.

He did not seek the help of other nations to form a great army

He did not try to bribe the leaders of the opposing nations

He did not attempt to fortify his cities

Instead

He called all of the people from Judah and Jerusalem for a time of prayer and fasting

He declared his great dependence on God before all of his people

He waited on the Lord

He heard from God

He obeyed God even though the “battle plan” seemed silly

He humbled himself before the Lord

He sent his praise choir ahead of the army singing

“Give thanks to the LORD, His love endures forever!”

He was rewarded for his faithfulness

As we read through this account it is easy to look at parts of the story and say, “that is worship” or “that is worship” but the reality is that every part of the account is worship.

Worship is NOT something that happens only in the Sunday service.

Worship is NOT something that may or may not happen while we’re driving down the road listening to Christian music.

Worship is NOT an occasional good feeling about God.

The idea of worship has become so distorted that we have coined such idiotic phrases as “worship styles”. I like this worship style or I like that worship style!

Style??? Worship is not a style, worship is a relationship.

The current Merriam-Webster dictionary defines worship as

“The act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god”

Something you do.

The 1828 Miriam-Webster dictionary defines worship as,

“Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.”

What a difference!

Romans 12:1 defines worship in this way,

“I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

And the amplified Bible says it this way,

“I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”

That is what Jehoshaphat did out of an EXISTING relationship with God.

That “living sacrifice” that permeates your entire being is the motivation for every-moment worship and the key to unlocking true praise! Everything else is a hollow fa├žade of praise and worship.

Examine your life.

Do you try to worship on Sunday mornings without living a life of worship throughout the week? Such a thing is impossible!

Challenge …

Prayer …