Summary: God can reveal to you the strategies of the enemy
Jehoshaphat in the battle of the Lord. 2 Cronicles 20:14-19
There are 42 kings listed in the OT in the history of the nation of Israel. That number includes both northern and southern kingdom.
Guess how many out of these 42 kings are described as good kings?
Six were generally good kings, who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord“ (although een these 6 not always did the right thing, not all the time, but at least they were commended for their actions) and the rest, e.g.36 kings
“did was not right in the eyes of the Lord“.
(Just a note: how many prime ministers did Australia have and how many good ones do you expect to find in that number?)
The good kings were David, of course and then Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Jotam, Hezekiah and Josiah.
Today we will talk briefly about the second good king, Jehoshaphat (sometimes called Joshafat – which is the same, but shortened name). For this we have to go back in time to the middle of the ninth century BC – 2 Cronicles 20.
There were three kings of the united kingdom of the Israelites, Saul, David and Solomon. Then in the 10th century the kingdom split into two: northern (Israel – capital Samaria) and southern (Judah – capital Jerusalem). Jehoshaphat was the fourth king in Judah after the split.
After three bad kings he was finaly the good one.
In 2 Cronicles chapter 17 and 18 Jehoshaphat did some silly things (not quite right in the eyes of the Lord – just to remind us that even he was a human being), but then in chapter 19:4-10 we read very encouraging words:
“Jehoshaphat encouraged people to follow the Lord God.“
He appointed judges and commanded them (2 Cron 19:9):
“Carry out your duties with the respect for the Lord (or “in the fear of the Lord“ – NKJV), with honesty, and with pure motives.“
Great stuff. Man of God, man of integrity, great leader of the people of God.
And of course when you try to do something for the kingdom of God, when you start building up the faith of others and putting things right with God and men, what should every child of expect?????
Oposition! Persecution. Hardships. Attacks of the enemy.
Every person when he is born again when he turns his face towards the Lord, the very next thing he has to do is face the devil.
1 Peter 4:12-13 is so clear:
“Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occuring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when His glory is revealed yo may also rejoice and be glad.“
What kind of the devil´s attack can we expect on the the king? The devil uses nations, rulers, armies, politicians (God as well by the way). So the next chapter 2 Cronicles 20 starts with the description of an arising problem:
“Moabites and Ammonites, along with some of the Meunites, attacked Jehoshaphat.“
Notice that it says: “attacked Jehoshaphat“ – not Israel. To attack the kindom meant to attack the king nad vice versa: to attack the king meant to attack the kingdom. Whoever is fighting against the kingdom of God, is fighting against its King, Jesus himself, as Saul of Tarsus had to find out falling wodn from the horse:
“Saul, Saul, why are persecuting me?“ (Acts 9:4)
The messangers came to the king (2 Cronicles 20:2):
“A huge army is attacking from the other side of the Dead Sea...“
How symbolic, they were coming from the side of the Dead Sea! Your enemies are always coming from that side! We are on the side of life. Our general was dead and buried but is alive and death, even the whole sea of death cannot touch Him. And He transfered all of us from under the power of death and sin into the kingdom of life and victory. Haleluja!
So the messangers came with this news: The enemies are coming! Oh, how you love this kind of messangers, don´t you? Well, not exactly, but even though they are messangers of the bad news still they are saying the truth. But again only when seen in the natural. And when you observe only in the natural, what will be your reaction?
Look at king Jehoshaphat.
2 Cronicles 20:3
“Jehoshaphat was afraid“ or “feared“, “was filled with fear“.
But, you know, fear and faith do not go well together. Fear and trust in the Lord are not good friends. „There is no fear in love“ and God is love and the love of God is poured out into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. I love my wife and she loves me – we do not fear each other, there is no fear in our relationship (unless she looks at me with that look, you husbands in here, know what I am talking about, don´t you?).